Thursday, August 14, 2014

Lord of Patients

In the church of San Bartolo Cuautlalpan in Zumpango, Mexico, stands a somewhat frightening, life-size, 300-year-old sculpture known as the "Lord of Patience." Until now, the lifelike statue of Christ has only left the church once a year to tour the town on Easter, but has now been removed to the National Institute of Anthropology and History to be restored. During that process, researchers have discovered that it has real human teeth (X-RAY HERE, VIDEO HERE). Because they had not been set apart in a separate shrine, it is highly unlikely that they are the relics of a saint. Instead it is assumed that the teeth were offered by a member of the church, since Mexican parishioners were known to have volunteered their hair and clothing for the creation of realistic statuary. Fanny Unikel, director of the School of Restoration, Conservation and Museology, points out, "It is common that the sculptures have teeth, but they are usually made ​​of wood or bone carved individually or as a plate, but this case has eight teeth of an adult, you can even see to the root. The teeth were probably donated as a token of gratitude. It's the first time human teeth have been found in a sculpture."

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