Secondo Pia (1855 in Asti–1941) was an Italian lawyer and amateur photographer. He is best known for taking the first photographs of the Shroud of Turin on May 28, 1898. The image he obtained from the shroud has been approved by the Roman Catholic Church as part of the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus.
Pia was born in Asti, Piemonte, and although he was an attorney, he was interested in both art and science and as of the early 1870s began to explore the new technology of photography. In the 1890s he was a city councillor and a member of Turin's Amateur Photographers' Club. He was a well known photographer in Turin and examples of his other photographs are now part of the historical collection at the Turin Cinema Museum. He can also be considered a pioneer in the field of photography for using electric lightbulbs in the 1890s, given that lightbulbs were a novelty in the late nineteenth century, with Thomas Edison's reliable incandescent light bulb having been invented only in 1879.
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... Genoa's Il Cittadino newspaper reported Pia's photograph on June 13, and a day later the story appeared in the national newspaper Corriere Nazionale ... The next few years witnessed a number of debates about Pia's photograph, with various suggestions of supernatural origin versus accusations of errors in his work, his doctoring of the photographs, etc ... I of Italy, whose permission was instrumental for the Pia photograph, was assassinated in July 1900 and did not see the full story unfold ...