A statue of Jesus Christ on display at a cathedral in Spain has been hiding a secret message for hundreds of years in the most unlikely place.
It was tucked away in a hidden compartment in the statue’s rear end.
“Although it is usual for many sculptures to be hollow, it is not so much to find handwritten documents inside,” said historian Efrén Arroyo, a member of the Holy Week Brotherhood of Sotillo de la Ribera, according to Science Alert.
The statue, called Cristo del Miserere, had been removed from a church in northern Spain for restoration when workers noticed the hidden compartment beneath a cloth that covered the statue’s butt, Spanish news website ABC reported.
Inside the statue was a letter penned in 1777 by Joaquín Mínguez, a chaplain of the Cathedral of Burgo de Osma. Mínguez’s letter discussed the statue and others created by the same sculptor and detailed what life was like in the community 240 years ago. Mínguez described popular games of the day, including cards and ball, and noted that typhoid and malaria were common. He also revealed that the main crops were wheat, rye, barley and oats, per El Pais.
“The harvest has been plentiful for many year,” Minguez wrote, referring to the vineyards of his hometown, Inverse reported.
Although the original document will be sent to the archbishop, a copy was returned to the statue’s hindquarters for posterity.