The cathedral at Turin has custodial rights to a cloth that is the property of the stalian royal family and is purported to be the shroud of Jesus Christ. No miraculous cures can be attributed to the cloth, nor has ""the Vatican made any pronouncements s to its place among the many relics of the Roman Catholic Church. Displayed infrequently (the last time was at the wedding of Prince Umberto in the '30's) the cloth has ad a controversial history from the time of the Middle Ages when a Bishop pronounced a man-made forgery. The controversy was heightened when the cloth was first photographed in the 1890's. The blotches and stains that could be seen by the naked eye had the quality of a negative when photographed and the outline of a man and a face appeared the photographer's plate. Since then, the obsession inducing qualities of the cloth, if not its unarguable authenticity, have been proved by the attention of anatomists, hemists, photographers and historians. It is considered a branch of study, sindonology, that supports a quarterly magazine and has spawned thousands of articles and a number of books in the foreign press. The most frustrating aspects of the repeated investigations are that they are done without access to the cloth in question. For a Roman Catholic and/or an audience with a taste for the curious.