Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Lost mummy & two skeletons found on Madrid university roof

While it might sound like a bad comedy, a routine inspection at the Complutense University in Madrid has turned up a strange find.  One of the professors just happened to stumble upon a mummy and two skeletons on the roof terrace of the faculty building.  

No one has a clue who they belong to or how they even got there.

Photo Madrid Complutense University CC-by-SA Liito92 

A spokesperson for the Vice Chancellor's office told El País the find was made on October 29th in an area not used for quite some time."We're talking about an old drying room for cadavers, facilities that haven't been used for 25 to 30 years," he said, adding, "It's not as if the mummy was out in the open, it was protected in a suitable place."

However, somewhere along the way, there was an internal department memo, reading as follows:

“Yesterday, an incident occurred at the School of Medicine. We were examining a facility on the rooftop that contained a mummified body. Since neither the facility nor the activity meet minimum safety and hygiene requirements, the school has been asked to adopt the necessary measures to clean up the area and find a solution to the existing remains, either removal by a funeral company or, if it is some sort of experiment or scientific endeavor, a report detailing the pertinent preventive measures to be taken. We have been verbally informed that the mummified body is going to be removed shortly by a funeral company.”

Despite this, El País were unable to confirm whether the mummy had been removed from the university, or if the facilities there had been dismantled.

This follows a huge story back in May this year of how hundreds of corpses had been found, piled up like cord wood, in the basement of the University's Anatomy and Embryology Department. Because of the scandal, the department, which was actually responsible for the rooftop facility where the latest find was made, was shut down and its director fired.  This was due to a later, and even worse, scandal that the corpses found back then were being "hired out" for use in private weekend courses at 750 euros ($930) a head, if you excuse the pun.  It was sort of a back-door cash for corpses set up, if you will.

It seems clear that no one at the University has any idea how the mummy and the two skeletons got there, or the name of the deceased person who had been mummified. However, a spokesperson at the Rectorate, the university’s management body, said of the mummy, “the original idea was to obtain a complete skeleton and use it for educational purposes,” adding, “Probably [the remains] should be eliminated if they are not going to serve their original purpose. But they have always been carefully monitored.” 

Really?  Anyway, looks like the Madrid Complutense University is going to have to suffer from the various scandals a tad longer.