A local church commissioned a restoration company to fix up an old wooden statue of Jesus Christ. After restorers removed a piece of cloth covering the statue’s backside, they noticed a secret compartment, which was later found to contain an amazing piece of history.
Employees at a Spanish restoration firm, Da Vinci Restauro, made a unique discovery hidden in an unlikely location. They were commissioned to restore an 18th-century wooden statue of Jesus Christ, and as they were working to clean up the Messiah, workers flipped the statue over. A piece of cloth covering the buttocks was removed, and that’s when they discovered a clue to what they were about to find.
A panel covering a hidden compartment was uncovered. After carefully removing the panel, restorers found a handwritten note inside the hollow statue.
“The document of the eighteenth century appeared when we were dismantling the Christ of the cross,” Gemma Ramírez Millares, a Da Vinci Restauro employee, told MailOnline.
Beautiful calligraphy covered the 241-year-old note. The author of the note had it signed and dated by the presiding priest of the Burgo de Osma Cathedral at the time, Joaquin Minguez—it was written in 1777!
Contained within the note are details pertaining to the village economy, politics of the era, religious issues, descriptions of celebrities, popular children’s games, farming practices, and community affairs.
“The document found talks about life in the town in 1777, the author, the local economy, games, and customs of the time, etc.,” Millares explains. The note was written, front and back, on two sheets of paper—a total of four handwritten pages.
Da Vinci Restauro reportedly had the note examined by a local historian, Efren Arroyo, who they claim said, “[the note] is amazing because it really is unique to find hidden handwritten documents inside such statues.”
The company did not provide any further details on Mr. Arroyo’s credentials or where he does his research. In addition, the note has yet to be legitimized by any other reputable historians or archaeologists. Millares had been asked for more specific details about the contents of the note, but she was unable to provide any additional details.
Nonetheless, the note’s contents provide a unique glimpse of what life was like in 18th-century Spain. Hopefully, the full letter will be released to the public soon. There will certainly be a lot of intrigued amateur and professional historians who would love to learn about the life of a Spanish priest circa 1777.
Watch a reenactment of the note’s discovery here:
The Girl Who Doctors Can’t Diagnose