The History of the Holy Shroud Museum
The Holy Shroud Museum dates back to 1936 when the Confraternity of the Holy Shroud decided to arrange in a permanent exibith the relics of the Shroud collected over several centuries. The museum was opened on June 14, 1936 in the presence of the Archbishop of Turin, card. Maurilio Fossati. The “Documentary Exhibition of the Illustrious Relics“, as it was called at that time, was located in a two room-space next to the Church of Most Holy Shroud.
In the second half of the Fifties, the Confraternity and the “Cultores Sanctae Sindonis” worked hard to make the Museum more functional and its new layout was inaugurated on May 2, 1959. A large restoration work of the Church and of the adjacent home of the Confraternity began in 1961. Therefore the museum was closed and a new location needed to be found.
The museum was re-opened in 1963 in the premises of the renovated home of the Confraternity, in Via San Domenico 28. This larger space enabled significant improvements to the exhibition, including the opportunity to display a full-size copy of the negative image of the Shroud printed on film and evocatively backlit.
Still, the solution was not considered entirely satisfactory, partly because the Confraternity needed this space for other purposes. Therefore, the International Centre of Sindonology, recently established and keeping updating the museum, studied an alternative solution in collaboration with the Confraternity. A small building next to the house of the Confraternity was found and chosen as the new location of the museum.
The place was available but they needed to work extensively and adapt it to its new function. Works began in 1965 and finished in 1973 when the new hall was opened . Herein the Museum took place for 25 years.
The restoration work of the crypt of the Church of the Most Holy Shroud was set up by Richi Ferrero and Marina Gariboldi and began in 1997 to accommodate the permanent museum of the Holy Shroud. The old location of the museum was restored and converted into a media room. Here movies about the Shroud are presented to introduce visitors to their tour of the museum. The museum was opened in its new premises on April 15, 1998 in the presence of Turin’s Archbishop card. Giovanni Saldarini.