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18th September 2001 - Page 3

When statues drink, weep and bleed

Religious enigmas have often been hard to explain. Some of the most bizarre incidents have occurred in the last century. Are these incidents of any religious importance or are they just tricks to attract believers? izing from thin air. If the cavity around the eyes is small enough, once all the liquid has dripped out, there are virtually no traces left in the icon. When I put it to test, this trick proved to be very satisfactory, baffling all on lookers."
The first incident of this kind took place way back in 1953 in Sicily when the small, mass produced plaster of Madonna started weeping at the home of Angelo and Antoinette Iananuso. This statue attracted large crowds of sightseers. Stupefied scientists took samples of these tears and tests verified that these were indistinguishable from genuine human tears!

Another incident which we can relate to, is when the statues of Ganesha began drinking the offerings of milk, imbibing it through its trunk, devouring numerous cartons and bottles of milk. Soon it was reported that this was true for all such statues, all over the world. 
Surprisingly, the miracle ended the next day when the same idols refused to consume any more milk.
An even more bemusing incident was reported in Italy; a painting of Madonna was allegedly reported to bleed. Similar incidents were also reported from 1971-1975 such as when a painting of Jesus in a church at Mirebeau-en-Poitow, France, exuded blood from his body parts. Samples analyzed at the Lister  The explanation put forward was:
"In cases like these when liquids appear to be absorbed by marble or other forms of permeable stone, what is actually happening is that molecules in the marble's rough surface
Institute in London, were found to be human and of a rare blood group.
The first attempt to explain was made by Dr. Luigi in July, 1995. He put forth the following explanation:
"What is needed is a hollow statue made of porous material, such as plaster or ceramic. The icon must be glazed or painted with some sort of 

... or are 
they just 
tricks to 

create a capillary channel, which sucks in droplets quite rapidly. These spread to a very thin layer that is difficult to see, particularly, in the marble."
What we can conclude is that with the help of science we have developed a slight understanding as to how these incidents could occur, but the element of mystery still remains. At a point like 
impermeable coating. If the statue is then filled with a liquid (surreptitiously, through a tiny hole in the head, for example), the glazing will stop it from flowing out. If the glazing however, is imperceptibly scratched away, on or around the eyes, tear like drops will leak out, as if material this, where there is not enough evidence to explain these mysteries, neither can we defy these explanations, we are free to choose whatever we want to believe in.
Shruti Sharma 
XII - A 

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