A scan reveals the body of Master Liuquan inside the statue of a Buddha. (Drents Museum)
A scan reveals the body of Master Liu Quan inside the statue of a BuddhaDrents Museum

A statue of Buddha, which is nearly 1,000 years old, contains the mummified remains of a monk, experts revealed.

A scan and endoscopy by the Netherlands-based Drents Museum and the Meander Medical Centre in Amersfoort found that the remains of a monk named Liu Quan, a member of the Chinese Meditation School, are encased within it experts announced.

Samples from the mummy's insides reveal scrolls with Chinese script written on them in cavities where organs had been removed.

Bone material from the mummy has been taken for DNA testing.

The discovery is of key significance, said experts, with the mummy being the only Chinese Buddhist mummy available for study in the West.

The results of the research will be published in a paper on Master Liu Quan later this year.

In January, the mummified remains of a monk in the lotus position were unearthed in Mongolia.

Experts are currently conducting tests on the remains, which was found in Songino Khairkhan province and are believed to be about 200 years old.

Previously, Chinese Buddhist mummies have been found in Nanhua Temple, Guangdong, and on Mount Jiuhua in Anhui Province, wrote experts Justin Ratzinger and Marcus Bingenheimer in a recent paper.

Some Buddhists believe that the mummified bodies are preserved as a result of meditation and freedom from earthly desires, not as a result of artificial methods.

After being exhumed, the bodies of some mummified Chinese masters were publicly displayed in temples, they write.

The Liu Quan mummy is on display at the Hungarian Natural History Museum until May.