It had gone undiscovered for three centuries because the rear of the statue had been covered by a piece of fabric.
While restoring an 18th-century statue of Jesus Christ, Spanish restorers found an unusual item in an even more unusual place.
Hidden inside the butt of the wooden statue was a handwritten note, carefully filled out in calligraphy. Experts claim the note dates back to 1777 and explained that the note was likely put there by a priest at the church where the statue originated.
The note had gone undiscovered for the past three centuries, as the rear of the statue had previously been covered by a piece of fabric. During a routine restoration by the Da Vinci Restauro company, workers removed the fabric and uncovered the note.
“It is amazing because it really is unique to find hidden handwritten documents inside such statues,” said local historian Efren Arroyo, who was involved in the restoration project. Researchers believe that the find could help uncover more personal and local aspects of the city’s history.
Researchers claim that the two-page note contains important information about the time period, such as details on the economy, political and religious matters, important figures, and popular pastimes.
The careful calligraphy, present on both sides of both pages, also names the statue’s sculptor and includes agricultural data, local community information, a list of common diseases, children’s games, and even includes a list of popular bullfighters.
The signature at the bottom of the note is that of Joaquin Minguez, a priest of the cathedral of Burgo de Osma. Experts believe that Minguez likely intended the note to be an early version of a time capsule, hidden in a secret location so that later generations could discover it and learn about history in a personalized and unique way.
The statue, which according to the note was originally carved by a man named Manuel Bal, currently resides at the church of Santa Agueda in Sotillo de la Ribera, in Burgos, Spain.