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Turin Shroud 'shows priest not Christ'

An academic says the "face of Christ" on the famous Turin shroud may belong to a priest who inspired Robert the Bruce.

He believes the image may be that of Jacques de Molay, who helped the Scot defeat the English.

The researcher claims the shroud was used to cover him after he was tortured by being nailed to a door.

The priest survived his ordeal, but was later imprisoned and roasted alive during the Inquisition.

The shroud is linked to him because it was put on display by a relative - later Christians claimed it was a holy relic.

De Molay was tortured in 1307 - right in the middle of the time period that scientists now think the shroud dates from.

Dr Robert Lomas, from Bradford University, has helped argue that a bacterial deposit found on the shroud dates it to that period.

He says the image itself may have been created when waste products, formed under the stress of torture, were sweated out on to the shroud used to cover him.

Dr Lomas told Ananova: "I am convinced this is the only rational explanation for the shroud which does not ignore any of the evidence."