Rome Newsroom, Jun 26, 2020 / 07:30 am
Scientists confirmed this month that a crucifix in the Italian city of Lucca is the oldest wooden statue in Europe.
A radiocarbon dating study conducted by the National Institute for Nuclear Physics in Florence dated the 8-foot wooden crucifix to between 770 to 880 AD.
The study was commissioned by the Cathedral of Lucca to coincide with the 950-year anniversary of the cathedral's consecration, which took place in the late 12th century.
Devotion to the crucifix, known as the "Holy Face of Lucca," spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, as pilgrims stopped in the walled Tuscan city on their way along the Via Francigena pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome.