It featured the "Holy Face of San Silvestro", a painting on fabric-covered board, which came to the notice of history in 1517 (when a convent of Poor Clare nuns were told off for using such a blatant forgery to siphon away some of the Vatican's income from its legitimate forgery). With age it became sufficiently holy as to be commandeered for the Vatican's collection in 1870. In the ideal world there would be an accompanying Holy Face of San Tweety.
not exhibiting one until about 1200 CE, whereas tea-towels have been on show since about 590 among the Eastern Orthodox churches from whom they borrowed the concept. Copyright lawyers had not been invented then.
Within the Eastern tradition, the Mandylion franchise has been rebooted numerous times, with no end of ingenuity going into ret-conning history each time. The Whackyweedia is amusingly credulous about the purported continuity of these relaunches.** The original tea-towel only survived for two decades before philosophers conquered Edessa in 609. Its replacement surfaced in 943 and lasted until the Philosophers' Crusade in 1204, and so on.
As for that 16th-C copy of a copy of a copy, an Arts Correspondent for a non-tabloid newspaper -- presumably the recipient of years of journalism training plus a press release from the British Museum -- reports
scholarly disagreement about whether the facecloth is the original or a copy made 400 years after the life of Christ [...] Some believe the Vatican object is the original; others claim it is a copy created in the fifth century. It is thought to have once been on display at Constantinople's Imperial Palace and transferred to the Vatican in the 14th century.
Not many people know that in the original version of Pacman, one was pursued through the maze by Magical Painted Tea-towels rather than ghosts.
At Riddled we have been considering the question of how to reboot the franchise for the 21st century. Personally I favour the idea that a Face of God would be more popular among the young people if printed on an origami pattern, allowing the owner to fold it into a hamster.
We are also doing our best to rhyme 'ossuary' with 'cassowary'.
----------------------------------------------------* At some point a replacement was acquired. It is low-resolution, however, so the Vatican only permits it to be viewed at a distance and out-of-focus so that its aliasing artefacts are less apparent.
** The whackyweedia entries dealing with the Shroud of Turin are also amusing, with all evidently written by Ian Wilson devotees of unwavering faith.