Exhibitions of the 20th Century (part 2)

The 1931 Exhibition itself
On May 3rd, 1931 the Shroud was extracted from the altar of the Guarini chapel in the presence of no less than 5 cardinals and 45 archbishops and bishops, then it was carried in procession and placed in the display case that can now be seen in the S. Sudario church, at the Museum of the Shroud. As far as we know, five cardinals and bishops should have repeated the traditional rite of the exposition performed by presenting the Shroud to the faithful holding it with their own hands. The purpose was to bring the Shroud outside, in the churchyard, to show it to the crowd that filled the square, but in the opening ceremony of this could not be done because it poured with rain (see La stampa, May 3, 1931, p. 1: the photographs of the event will therefore refer to the closing ceremony ).
On two occasions, in the night between May 3rd and 4th and, before the closing ceremony, between May 22nd and 23rd, Turin photographer Giuseppe Enrie took a new series of photos up to twelve orthochromatic plates that were particularly successful due to this particular technique, which emphasize details and contrast (Pugno 1961, p. 325; Fossati 2000, pp. 240-241). Enrie later published a book of success: The Shroud Revealed by Photography (La Santa Sindone rivelata dalla fotografia, Turin 1933). Mainly on these pics were based, in the following years, many of the studies that claim to have found on the Shroud written texts, coins or traces of flowers.

Giuseppe Enrie's Book on th Shroud (1933)
Giuseppe Enrie’s Book on the Shroud (1933)

The presence of the House of Savoy was evident. Prince Humebert attended all the important ceremonies and he is recognizable in most photographic evidence.

Popular participation, during the twenty days of exhibition, was great: contemporary sources speak of over a million and a half of overall attendance. An art exhibition allowed pilgrims to admire the most significant pieces of the collection of objects dedicated to the Shroud collected by Prince Humebert himself. A huge limited edition book was published as official account of the exhibition and contained the catalog of this exhibition, (L’Ostensione della Sindone MCMXXXI,The Exposition of the Shroud 1931′, Bona, Torino 1931).

A ceremony in the Cathedral of Turin during the 1931 Exhibition. The officer in uniform on the left, with the candle in his hand, is Prince Humbert of Savoy.
A ceremony in the Cathedral of Turin during the 1931 Exhibition. The officer in uniform on the left, with a long candle in his hand, is Prince Humbert of Savoy.

On the closing day, May 24th, the archbishop of Turin Fossati with four other prelates including those of Biella and Vercelli had the honor to hold with his own hands, following the Chambéry tradition, the Shroud in front of Turin Cathedral of Turin. Some photos, due mostly to Mr. Gherlone of Turin, show the event.

The Shroud shown to the crowd during the closing ceremony of the 1931 exhibition.
The Shroud shown to the crowd during the closing ceremony of the 1931 exhibition.

References:

Ostensione 1931 = L’Ostensione della S. Sindone MCMXXXI, Bona, Torino 1931.

Giuseppe Enrie, La Santa Sindone rivelata dalla fotografia, Torino 1933.

Pugno 1961 = Giuseppe Maria Pugno, La Santa Sindone che si venera a Torino, SEI, Torino 1961.

Fossati 2000 = Luigi Fossati s.d.b., La Sacra Sindone. Storia documentata di una secolare venerazione, Elledici, Torino 2000.

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