SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Exterminators looking for termites in a monastery in Brazil’s biggest city of Sao Paulo found a mummy and a skeleton believed to be at least 200 years old, the head of the monastery said on Tuesday.
“There were some mounds of termite dust and the exterminators broke into the walls to see what was in there,” Father Armenio Rodrigues Nogueira, who is in charge of the monastery, one of the city’s oldest, told Reuters.
“It was a huge surprise.”
The bodies, believed to be two nuns, were found weeks ago, but officials at the Mosteiro da Luz (Monastery of Light) decided to keep them secret while the Institute for National Artistic and Historical Heritage did further research.
The Catholic monastery was founded in 1774 by Brazil’s first saint, Antonio Galvao, about 50 years before the nation’s independence from colonial power Portugal.
Reporting by Mauricio Savarese; Writing by Elzio Barreto; editing by Stuart Grudgings