For nearly 500 years, the Shroud of Turin has been preserved in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. It is displayed only rarely, and its ongoing care and preservation involve the same scientific rigor that has been applied to the mysterious properties of the cloth itself. Enrico Simonato, one of the directors of the International Center for the Study of the Shroud (located in Turin), will share insights about the perpetual care of the cloth and how it relates to both scientific and critical studies that continue from many disciplines around the world. He will discuss the present-day state of research from his unique experience as a primary caretaker of the Shroud today, responsible for preserving it for future generations. Cheryl White, PhD, a board member of the Shroud of Turin Research and Education Association, will also be there to discuss the Shroud’s research.
2:00 p.m. — Opening and Welcome with Jeff Kloha, Chief Curatorial Officer
2:05 p.m. — "Revealing Insights: Results from Mystery & Faith Visitor Surveys" with Christy Wallover, Exhibit Developer
This presentation will explore how visitors absorbed the content of the exhibition: what they took away, how they responded to the learning goals, and the surprising details revealed by the survey. Christy will discuss the survey methodology and share the results.
2:20 p.m. — "The Most Studied Artifact in the World: What Do We Know Today about the Shroud of Turin?" with Dr. Cheryl White
This presentation will include a historical overview of the Shroud, its journey to Turin in the sixteenth century, and what is known about the cloth's unique scientific properties and characteristics.. It will also ask, Why is it the most studied artifact in existence?
2:50 p.m. — "The Future of the Mystery: The Shroud in the 21st Century" with Enrico Simonato, Keynote Speaker
Enrico Simonato, of the International Center of Sindonology, will share insights about the perpetual care of the cloth and how it relates to both scientific and critical studies that continue from many disciplines around the world. He will discuss the present-day state of research from the unique perspective only available to one who is a primary caretaker of the Shroud today, responsible for preserving it for future generations.
3:40 p.m. — Question and Answer Session with Panel
4:00 p.m. — Conclusion
4:00 p.m. — Refreshments and Hors d'oeuvres
4:20 p.m. — Special Presentation by Dr. Cheryl White
This presentation will focus on some of the most interesting questions about the Shroud of Turin and will feature artifacts from the collections of The Shroud Art Collection at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans in Shreveport, Louisiana.
5:10 p.m. — Exploration of Mystery & Faith: The Shroud of Turin Exhibit with Curator Brian Hyland
6:00 p.m. — Conclusion
Enrico Simonato was born in Turin in 1956. He graduated from a classical high school in Turin before pursuing an education from the University of Turin, studying chemistry, marketing, and communications. He then spent 30 years in the field of plastics development at DuPont de Nemours, participating in and leading a global study project on innovative applications on plastic heat exchangers where he was the co-owner of four patents. He retired from plastic development in 2020.
Outside of the plastics development profession, Enrico served as the Secretary of the Italian Center for natural regulation of fertility and lay representative together with his wife in the pastoral care of marriage from 1992 to 2015. Following this position, he has since served as Secretary of the International Center for Studies on the Shroud since 2015. He is also a member of the Shroud Commission of the Diocese of Turin.
Enrico is married to Valeria and has three children and two grandchildren. He speaks three languages: Italian, French, and English.
Cheryl H. White, PhD
Cheryl H. White, PhD, is a professor of history at Louisiana State University at Shreveport, where she holds the endowed Hubert Humphreys Professorship. Her primary field is medieval and early modern Europe, and she has been engaged in Shroud scholarship for nearly 30 years. She is a member of the American Confraternity of the Holy Shroud, a board member of the Shroud of Turin Research and Education Association, and the co-host of a popular international podcast series, Who is the Man of the Shroud?
As an exhibit developer at the museum, Christy Wallover advocates for the visitor experience and exhibit narrative in her work on permanent and special exhibitions, including Mystery and Faith: The Shroud of Turin. She guides curators in defining the exhibit message and refines content to ensure it is clear, concise, and compelling. Christy also determines interpretive strategies for visitor engagement in both written content and interactive experiences.
Prior to joining the museum, Christy was the exhibit writer and traveling exhibitions program manager at the Newseum in Washington, DC. She authored several exhibitions on First Amendment rights and journalism history. Additionally, she managed the Newseum’s traveling exhibitions, procuring facilities for touring schedules and drafting contracts. Christy also worked at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History as an assistant project manager and project assistant. While there, she developed exhibitions on American music history and stewarded the Armed Forces History collection. Before she worked in museums, Christy served as an archaeological supervisor at URS Corporation.
Christy received her BA in anthropology and a minor in ancient Mediterranean studies from Temple University and earned her MA in museum studies from The George Washington University.