«The new cloth has such characteristics as to avoid the forming of microorganisms»
«Only dust and dirt have been removed»
The Diocese of Turin reassures: «They could have caused conservation problems»
So, what will be talked about on Saturday?
«On Saturday the interventions will be explained in detail; they regarded the unstitching of the Holland cloth, which has been replaced with another cloth having a certain number of chemical characteristic – neither too basic nor too acid – so as not to favor the creation of micro-organisms, and so on. All patches have been unstitched, and this has revealed that between the patches and the cloth a relatively great amount of dirt had accumulated.»
What has been made of that dirt?
«There were bits of burnt cloth, dust, debris. All has been removed and obviously catalogued and burnt (errata: preserved). Nobody thinks of throwing anything away. At the beginning there were also accusations of having made things in a hurry. If that dirt had still been kept there, worse preservation conditions could turn up.»
Was it necessary to carry out this operation?
«On Saturday, the Shroud Custodian, cardinal Severino Poletto, will answer this question. However, I refer to what he had already declared to the newspaper “Avvenire” in August. It was necessary because the Commission for the Conservation’s studies had indicated the fact that now the Shroud is spread, and, consequently, the problem of the folds is far reduced, as a risk. There could be a further problem, arising from the chemical processes on the cloth. Now that the patches have been removed, the dirt eliminated and the accumulated dust swept away, the Shroud becomes readable and in better conditions for being preserved.»