800-year-old “Crusader” mummy has been lopped off and stolen from the historical St. Michan’s Church in Dublin, Ireland.
The Church of Ireland in a statement said vandals broke into the church’s underground vaults in a weekend of February last year, where they “desecrated” the bodies of several mummies in there.
A guide at St. Michan discovered the crime when he was preparing to open the church for visitors.
The vandals likely used crowbars and other tools to open the heavy steel door of the crypt. The guide also said the mummy’s legs were smashed into his torso and moved his arms to the side.
The vandals also swiveled the head of a 300-year-old mummified nun of about 180 degrees.
They also damaged the crypt of William Rowan Hamilton, an Irish mathematician who first described the number system known as quaternions.
St. Michan’s Church was founded in 1095 but was opened to the public starting the 1930s. There are five burial vaults beneath the church.
The mummy was about 6 ½ feet tall and was said to be a parishioner. Historians determined he was part of the Crusades, specifically the Fourth Crusade, because he was buried with his arms and legs crossed, as was traditional for soldiers in holy wars.
This is not the first time vandals broke into the church. In 1966, several teenagers went to the vaults and removed bodies from their coffins.