RU 10/2007 - FRANCE, a very different Press Conference
SPECIAL EDITION (2 pages)
- FRANCE: A press conference not like the other ones. On March 2nd took place in Paris a unique press conference: it was dealing about Jesus Christ, or more precisely about what he entrusted as most precious gift of his human person to France: his Holy Tunic. 300 invitations and about several tens of press files had been sent by Internet and/or by letters to all major media in France by the organizer COSTA (UNEC). All the religious press disregarded this invitation sovereignly, but the daily LE PARISIEN dispatched a double delegation: one for its national edition, and the other one for its edition of the Val-d'Oise department where the Holy Tunic of Argenteuil is conserved. - The conference was opened by Mrs. Elise Mbock, press relations officer of COSTA, who, after presentation of the people attending the meeting, mentioned two new books in French language concerning the Holy Tunic: the one of professors Gerard Lucotte and Andre Marion, ŠThe Shroud of Turin and the Tunic of Argenteuil - The point on the investigation", Editor Presses de la Renaissance, March 2006, of which several themes were also the object of the other book "The Holy Tunic face to the Science", of COSTA (UNEC), published in December 2006 with F.-X. de Guibert editions, Paris, which consists in fact of the proceedings of the symposium of COSTA of the same title of November 2005 at Argenteuil. - Mr. Didier Huguet, scientific coordinator of COSTA (ecumenical and scientific Circle of the Argenteuil Tunic), brushed a large scientific survey of studies which had been undertaken since 1882, and particularly in the years 1930, but which stopped at that time suddenly, until a new wave of researches started since 1984 by private and public persons and organisms: analyses of the textile, of the coloration, of traces of blood of the Argenteuil Holy Tunic. - Then Mr W.Wuermeling, secretary general of UNEC, which is the mother-house of COSTA, presented by means of a diaporama a concise summary of the history of the Tunic, while passing through Golgotha, Charlemagne, Saint Louis, Louis XIII, the Revolution, pilgrimages and miracles at Argenteuil, and the other Tunics of Christ (Trier in Germany, Mzcheta in Georgia), as well as the scandal of the C14 dating of the Argenteuil Tunic entrusted by the township of Argenteuil, the prefecture of the Val-d'Oise and the Ministry of the Culture to the governmental institute CEA at Gif in 2003/2004, with the agreement of the bishop of Pontoise. This C14 test identified the origin of the Relic to the 7th century after J.C., a result that was immediately announced by the bishop of Pontoise who is the official custode of the Relic ("The Tunic is, with 95.4 percent probability, non-authentic") and after him throughout the local newspaper herd that titled in fat letters: "The Holy Tunic is more recent than Christ", - "A not so holy Tunic" - "The Holy Tunic never belonged to Christ" - and the best one: "Holy Tunic of Christ: the end of a myth !" (The Gazette of the Val-d'Oise, edition. of Dec. 8th, 2004). After this scandal, COSTA answered by the announcement that it invites for Nov. 12, 2005, an international symposium in the centre of Argenteuil, in the festival hall Jean Vilars, "in order to re-establish the scientific and religious truth about the Holy Tunic of Argenteuil." Fourteen speakers followed each other during this symposium whch was opened by the vice mayor of Argenteuil, Mr Philippe Metezeau. The proceedings of this noteworthy symposium - whose conclusions were lapidary : 1) the C14 test of the CEA of 2004 is false, 2) there is Blood on the Holy Tunic of Argenteuil - were published by COSTA with F. -X. de Guibert in December 2006 under the title " The Holy Tunic face to the Science" (in French, 235 pages, richly illustrated, 20 Euros).
The main declaration of the press conference of March 2, 2007, was the one of professor Gerard Lucotte about his most recent researches concerning the Holy Tunic. Professor Lucotte recalled that he took in October 2004 the initiative to create the Institute of Genetic Molecular Anthropology (I.A.G.), which has an association statute and whose goal is to do archaeological and historic researches, notably on the relics assigned to Jesus, by the help of all modern techniques. He also recalled the very interesting survey, in his view, of Msgr Goux who had detected the presence of blood on the Tunic since 1882, as consigned in his minute of July 17. Professor Lucotte confirms that there are lots of blood on the Tunic. At the time of Msgr Goux, the analysis of textiles had been made by the Gobelins Institute and the hematological survey by the school of Pharmacy of Paris. Concerning the work published by professors Marion and Lucotte ŠThe Shroud of Turin and the Tunic of Argenteuil - The Point on the Investigation" (in French, Presses de la Renaissance, Paris), Professor Lucotte indicates that it's already a public success: 7,000 copies sold up to now, which fact proves the general interest for Relics.
After these preliminaries, the communique of Pr Lucotte can be resumed in five points:
- 1. Analysis of the textile and the coloration. Professor Lucotte confirms the old analyses of the Gobelins and the new researches of Mrs. Bedat which indicate that the high resistance of the cloth is due to the very old texture type by means of wool thread which is "Z" twisted, and that the thickness of the thread corresponds to an undergarment. The coloration is a madder dye, a surrogate of the purple which was reserved to the higher class of people (to emperors or generals, for example). The madder was the purple of the lower people. To fix this dye, the mordancy was achieved by alum, a method known since immemorial times, including Babylon.
- 2. The Radiocarbone dating. After the fatal dating by the C14 method made in 2004 by the C.E.A. State Institute (Commissariat de l'Energie Atomique), which had concluded that the Holy Tunic dated from 590 after J.C., the Institute of Genetic Molecular Anthropology of professor Lucotte proceeded to a counter-dating, independent of the first one, and he recalled that it was made, this time, "in blind", which means that the laboratory didn't receive any indication concerning the origin of the cloth to be dated. Pr. Lucotte could provide the samples to the laboratory on the base of those that Mrs. Paterne of the CEA, author of the first C14 dating of the Argenteuil Tunic, handed over to him. Professor Lucotte notes, that from the same samples, the results present a gap of almost 200 years. Those of the CEA, in 2004, had dated the Tunic between 530 and 650 after Jesus Christ, with a medium age fixed to 590. The second dating, made upon his order by the laboratory of Archeolabs in Zurich, dated the same samples to 670-880 after J.C., with a medium date fixed to 775. Therefore the question of Pr. Lucotte: what can explain this divergence of almost 200 years? First element of answer: if wood, carbone and bones are relatively comfortable to be dated by the C14 method, the textile is a 'non adequate substratum' for datings by Radiocarbone.
Second element: the chemical treatment leaves parasitic Calcium carbonate which can disrupt the calculation of the actual Radiocarbone rate on the linen, knowing notably that the keratin (wool) captures/absorbs this carbon. All these elements distort the datings by Radiocarbone, without mentioning the various pollutions undergone by the Tunic at the time of its conservation through the centuries and the multiple 'ostensions', which let traces that cannot be completely eliminate by the preparatory usual chemical treatments before the C14 test.
- 3. As to the blood, Pr. Lucotte indicates that, according to the studies of his colleague Andre Marion, bloodstains on what one considers as being 'the rear side' of the Tunic, are arranged in shape of a cross. For the geneticist, according to abt. 1 thousand observations, red blood cells have been perfectly preserved on the Tunic, like in the case of the Egyptian mummies, by earth salt (ClNa) detected on the Tunic. The middle diameter of these red blood cells is of about 6 microns, but this decrease of diameter can be explained by the action of the salt, used for instance as a conservative agent since a very long time in the conservation of pork meat which deteriorates very quickly. For Professor Lucotte, the observed non regularity of certain red blood cells on the Tunic may be the result of an intense suffering of the tortured subject, but this aspect should be, according to him, the object of ulterior research. The blood discovered on the Tunic, is, by the way, according to professor Lucotte, of the AB type: this would have been demonstrated at the time of the first new private studies undertaken since 1985 by his colleague late Dr Saint Prix. The AB group is very rare in populations over the world, between 1 and 10 percent according to regions. If the traces of blood found on the Tunic of Argenteuil, the Linen of Turin (Italy) and the Shroud of Oviedo (in Spain) are all of the same AB group - and this seems by now to be an assessed fact -, the probability that it is based on the same man who carried them or was in touch with them, is therefore extremely high, and practically conclusive.
- 4. The relatively complete pollen survey of professor Lucotte indicates that the Holy Tunic passed through Palestine. After Dr. Max Frei, Switzerland (deceased in 1983, before he could publish the complete results of his researches), the new research of Pr Lucotte on the Relic of Argenteuil permitted to discover the presence of 18 species, of which most are southern ancient plants, with numerous correspondences with those previously found on the Shroud of Turin (6 species) and on the Shroud of Oviedo (7 species); notably the presence of a species of Tamarix (tamarix hampeana) and of Pistachio (pistacia palestina), endemic plants of Palestine, indicates that this Tunic passed through that region.
- 5. The DNA. Pr. Lucotte recalls that the red blood cells which have been located on the Holy Tunic, don't have any DNA material. However, several cells of skin, hairs, dandruff, and of white globules, which have been located on the Tunic, contain the human DNA of which the chromosomal analysis, at this stage, indicates the following certainties: a) It is human DNA - b) The genetic profiles of this DNA concern only one individual. - c) The specific markers mention the presence of the chromosome Y, marker of masculinity. - d) The chromosomal formulas indicate a correspondence with an oriental Semitic non Arabic DNA. We got, says the professor, the DNA print (like in legal medicine) of this man according to 15 discriminative markers. This print, like all prints, is unique and will permit useful comparisons.
At the end the press conference, COSTA announced the next events about the Holy Tunic: on March 25 at 3 PM pilgrimage to the Holy Tunic of Argenteuil, with procession through the cit center, then at 4 PM prayers in front of the Holy Tunic in the Basilica St Denys at Argenteuil. - On March 28 at 6 PM on Radio Courtoisie (FM 95.6 in Paris) Serge de Beketch will interview the eminent specialist of the false C14 tests on the Relics of Turin and Argenteuil, Mrs. Claire van Oosterwijck. - On March 29, from 4.30 PM to 6.30 PM Mrs. van Oosterwijck will autograph the last book of COSTA on the Holy Tunic of Argenteuil "The Holy Tunic face to the Science" which contains 60 pages of critique by herself of the C14 test of 2004, at Duquesne bookstore, 27 avenue Duquesne, Paris 7. - On March 29 also, at 7.30 PM, professor Lucotte will speak at the dinner-debate of Radio-Silence (www.radio-silence.org) in the restaurant of Paris Austerlitz station "Le Grenadier" about his last scientific researches on the Holy Tunic. - This program of events will end precisely at the moment when the Church enters into the Holy Week, the week of O.L. Jesus Christ's Holy Passion.
- A dialogue between the participants, accompanied by an appetizer, closed this press conference so different from others. - (ru)