10 Strange Things Found Inside Statues

by Shweta Anand1 year ago

6 In December 2021, workers discovered a time capsule hidden inside a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The time capsule contained an almanac, a silver coin, a cloth envelope, and a copy of The Huguenot Lovers: A Tale of the Old Dominion, written by Collinson Pierrepont Edwards Burgwyn. Soon after, a second capsule was found at the ground level of the statue and sent for further examination.

In December 2021, a pedestal that used to hold the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed from its resting place in Richmond, Virginia. While removing it, workers found a time capsule that had lain hidden beneath the statue for more than 130 years. The items inside the capsule had sustained some water damage and included a rust-colored almanac from 1875, a cloth envelope, and a silver coin. Apart from the almanac, there was also an edition of The Huguenot Lovers: A Tale of the Old Dominion, written by Collinson Pierrepont Edwards Burgwyn.  

However, these items did not match the available historical records, suggesting that there must be a second time capsule under the statue. Fortunately, the second capsule was found just weeks after and sent for further studies. The box had been found inside a granite enclosure at ground level where it was surrounded by fill and sitting in water. (1, 2)


7 A sculpture of Nelson Mandela in South Africa was revealed to have a tiny sculpted rabbit tucked inside its bronze ears. The sculptors had put the bunny in because the government had refused to let them put their signatures on the statue’s legs. They were then ordered by the South African government to remove the rabbit. 

Nelson Mandela statue
Sculptors Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren have been ordered to remove the bronze rabbit they hid in the ear of Nelson Mandela statue. Image credit: Burhan Ay Photography/Shutterstock.com, Bellenews.com

On 16 December 2013, the South African government unveiled a new statue of Nelson Mandela, the renowned leader of the country. The giant statue stands with its arms wide open, indicating Mandela’s dedication to inclusiveness. But the authorities soon discovered that the nine-meter tall statue had a tiny rabbit sculpture hidden inside one of its bronze ears. 

The two sculptors, Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren, had added the bronze rabbit after the authorities refused to let them put their names on the statue’s trousers. Further, a rabbit is called “haas” in the Dutch-based Afrikaans language which also means “haste.”

Therefore, the rabbit sculpture was also a symbol of the pressure the sculptors had to endure during the project. The South African government later ordered the sculptors to remove the rabbit without disturbing the bigger statue and conceded that they could leave a more discreet signature on its heel. (1, 2)


8 An empty bottle of Glenmore Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and an 84-year-old newspaper were discovered in the base of a Jefferson Davis Confederate statue. The newspaper dates to 20 October 1936, the same day the statue was erected. This discovery was made when the statue was being removed from the Kentucky State Capitol. 

Jefferson Davis Confederate statue
Jefferson Davis Confederate statue (Image to the left), artifacts were found inside its base. Image credits: courier journal via USAtoday.com, wdrb.com

In 2020, workers who were removing a statue of the Confederate leader Jefferson Davis made a rather bizarre discovery. They found an empty bottle of Glenmore Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and an 84-year-old newspaper dated 20 October 1936, the day the statue was erected. Once the statue had been removed, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear pulled the artifacts out of the hole left behind in the state’s capitol building. 

A state commission had earlier voted to take down the statue of the Confederate leader in response to the anti-racism protests that broke out across the US. Until then, it had enjoyed a prominent place on display inside the Kentucky State Capitol Building. The Governor later stated that this move would hopefully make the state’s citizens feel more welcome in the capitol. Since its removal, the statue has been slated for relocation to the Jefferson Davis Historic Site in Fairview. (1, 2)


9 In 2014, one of the mermaid sculptures at The Venetian in Las Vegas was revealed to have secret artwork inside. This artwork is placed behind the breasts of the sculpture and is revealed with the help of a switch. The breasts of this mermaid sculpture had been attached separately after construction and contain a diorama of the canals in Venice. 

Mermaid statue
A statue inside the main lobby of the Venetian in Las Vegas, Nev(Image to the left), Snapshot of the revealed diorama. Image credit: Mikayla Whitmore via lasvegasweekly.com

Since its opening, The Venetian has become one of the most popular attractions on the Las Vegas Strip in the US. It is also home to numerous artworks that pay tribute to the beautiful city of Venice in Italy. One of the most attractive sculptures in The Venetian is The Armillary Sphere, located in its lobby. According to the hotel, this piece is a reminder of the Renaissance spirit that had once taken Italy by storm. However, this sculpture also holds another secret that is not known to many. 

Of the two mermaid statues on The Armillary Sphere, one of them holds hidden artwork behind its breasts. This artwork consists of a colorful, three-dimensional diorama of the canals of Venice, made from wood, resin, paint, and other such materials. The breasts of this mermaid were attached separately after the initial carving was completed and can be popped open with a secret switch behind its head. (1, 2)


10 An ordinary garden gnome sculpture was once found to contain another smaller statue of a feminine figure within. The discovery was made by a woman named Heather Andrews when she accidentally dropped the garden gnome and broke it. However, none of the other gnomes that Andrews methodically broke were found to have such figurines. 

Gnome sculpture
When a humble garden gnome accidentally smashed on a sidewalk recently, its owner found a statue of an angel inside it (Image to the left), mysterious discovery has got the whole town of Lynnville, Tennessee, asking questions. Image credit: Facebook via dailymail.co.uk

A Lynnville, Tennessee resident named Heather Andrews accidentally discovered a hidden surprise inside a garden gnome. She had been trying to get the gnome out of her car when it dropped to the ground and broke.

When she picked up the pieces, she saw that there was a feminine figure inside the gnome. This figure was completely fused to the top and bottom of the gnome and had a detailed face, a beard, and a bust. 

Given the feminine shape of the sculpture, its clothes, and the facial features, many believed this to be an angel or a Jesus sculpture. However, Andrews has chosen to call the figure “Pete,” since she had not confirmed what she believed it to be.

The gnome was a gift from a friend with whom Andrews had started a running joke in school. Intrigued to know if her other gifted gnomes had similar secrets, Andrews broke them all but found them to be empty. (1, 2)

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