The famous "Shroud of Turin", which many believe to be Jesus Christ's burial cloth, will go on public display in 2015, an official said.
of Turin Cesare Nosiglia said Pope Francis has been invited to visit
the shroud, which bears the facial image of a man thought to have
suffered physical trauma similar to crucifixion.
dates the shroud will be on public view have not been fixed but it will
be for 40-45 days near Easter. Over two million pilgrims are expected
In April 2010, more than 1.5 million people booked
reservations to gaze at the linen cloth for around three minutes when
the first public viewing in a decade opened at Turin's cathedral.
has surrounded the 4.3 metre-long and one metre wide cloth which many
Christians believe Jesus Christ was wrapped in after his death and his
face was imprinted on it.
But sceptics cite carbon dating
results to say that the shroud was in fact from the Middle Ages, about
1,300 years after Christ lived.
The cloth is housed in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin.
Prior to 2010, it last went on public display in 2000 during the Catholic Church's millennium celebrations.