15. The Shroud is Kept at a Church in Turin, Italy
The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin is currently the home of the Shroud of Turin. It has been there since the Middle Ages, and the church has in many ways adapted itself to its unique position of hosting the shroud. It has been kept there since 1587. In 1649, the Vatican approved an enlargement project for the cathedral because many believed that the burial cloth of Jesus deserved to be stored in a place of elegance and luxury. The church has since then undergone many construction projects. The shroud itself is contained within a chapel inside the cathedral.
To protect the shroud from damage, it is kept inside an airtight box that is 99.5% filled with the inert gas argon. The remaining .05% is oxygen. It is held flat on an aluminum surface. In the past, people were frequently able to view it. Today, however, only on infrequent occasions is it available for viewing, even to those within the church or the Vatican. There have been some grants of approval for scientists to conduct testing on it, but as custodians of the shroud, the church’s utmost concern is its conservation. There have also been very meticulous restoration projects done to the cover itself to reverse the damage that it has sustained and prevented it from becoming contaminated.