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Several Mummies Considered To Be National Treasures In Ireland Were Permanently Damaged After Vandals Broke Into Their Crypt

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On June 11, 2024, vandals broke into a church in Dublin, Ireland, and committed arson, causing permanent destruction to several mummies stored in the crypt.

The break-in and arson attack took place at St. Michan’s Church. A total of five mummies, including an 800-year-old mummy known as the “Crusader,” suffered damage from the fire and the water that was used to put it out.

St. Michan’s Church is located in the historic suburb of Oxmantown, north of the River Liffey. Around 4:30 in the afternoon, a tour guide notified the Dublin Fire Brigade that the church was engulfed in flames. The firefighters managed to put out the fire successfully.

Afterward, a forensic investigation was conducted at the site. Church officials are concerned that some of the mummified remains in the crypt have been ruined beyond repair.

“The crypt is a crime scene, but I have just been given access to see the damage,” said Archdeacon David Pierpoint, the Vicar of St. Michan’s.

“The mummies are sitting in a foot of water. They need a very specific atmosphere, and I fear that at least two of the remains, including the Crusader, have been destroyed. I will contact the National Museum to see if anything can be saved.”

The man behind the vandalism was 38-year-old Christian Topiter, a part-time security guard. After the incident, he was arrested and charged with criminal damage in relation to the arson attack.

Unfortunately, it isn’t the first time vandals have targeted the mummies at St. Michan’s Church.

The church dates back to 1095 C.E. and is considered to be one of the most important historic sites in Ireland.

In 1996, vandals set fire to one of the church’s chambers, destroying a vault in the crypt. Only six of the 80 mummies housed there could be salvaged.

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