Shroud encore for Italian flood victims
While the longest exposition of the Shroud of Turin in history closed on Sunday with a special celebration of bishops in the city's cathedral, there will be two extra viewings to accommodate pilgrims whose plans were disrupted by recent floods in northern Italy.
During the 72 days since the exhibition's 12 August opening, 950,792 pilgrims viewed the relic, believed to be the cloth used to wrap Jesus' body after the crucifixion.
At a Saturday press conference, Archbishop Severino Poletto of Turin, pontifical custodian of the shroud, announced that there will be two "extra" mornings to view the shroud, this Friday and Saturday, to accommodate pilgrims whose plans were disrupted by recent floods in northern Italy.
207,994 reservations to see the Shroud were made through Internet. This represents 20% of all visitors, compared with 9% who registered via Internet for the 1998 exposition.
The latest exposition of the shroud attracted 112,874 foreigners from 170 different countries, or 11.8% of the total number of visitors. The largest groups were from France (22.5%) and Poland (13.3%).
Archbishop Poletto said the next extended exposition is planned for 2025, during the next Holy Year.