Utande is a tiny hamlet of just 16 people in Guadalajara. An ancient hamlet, with an ancient church.
And father & son team Salvador Taberno, both professional builders, were carrying out some volunteer repair work at the church when they discovered a false wall.
Breaking it down, behind it, they discovered the most perfectly preserved 12th century Virgin Mary ever found.
This “priceless” artefact is about 60 cm long, made out of one piece of wood, and still has its original paintwork mainly intact.
There’s no indication of when it was sealed up in its little tomb, but judging from the brickwork, it was probably hidden from raiders sometime in the 15th century.
Most of the Christian art work across Spain from this era was destroyed by the Inquisition, which thought it amateurish and not worthy of devotion, meaning it could be the only such intact piece from the era known today.
It’s currently in the safe at the local bank, and is expected to be loaned to the local museum, as the Church there is incapable of properly looking after such a beautiful, fragile and precious piece of history.