Intruders crept into a crypt at Dublin, Ireland's St. Michan's Church, decapitated an 800-year-old mummy and ran off with the head. The Garda Síochána (Irish police) ask that anyone with information about the missing head or those who did the decapitating, please contact them. From CNN:
The mummy is thought to be a soldier who fought in the Crusades, a series of eight expeditions sanctioned by the Church between the 11th and 13th centuries, which resulted in a religious war between Christians and Muslims.
Intruders turned the body over while removing its head, and also desecrated the 400-year-old remains of a nun, according to the Church.
The vandalism, which is being investigated by police, was discovered on Monday as a guide was preparing to open the church.
From the New York Times:
St. Michan’s attracts around 28,000 paying visitors a year, who come to tour its small but historically significant interior, which includes the organ on which George Frideric Handel wrote his “Messiah” oratorio, and view the mummified bodies in their open coffins.
In the last century, visitors were even allowed to shake the Crusader’s leathery hand “for good luck..."
Another section of the crypt was sealed after being vandalized in 1996 by three teenagers who broke in, dragged corpses into the churchyard and played football with the head of a little girl.
image at top: "mummies in the St Michan’s Church crypt" by Jennifer Boyer
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