Mummified monk inside Buddha statue
Mummified monk inside Buddha statue.Jan van Esch / Meander Medisch Centrum

A special examination conducted in the Meander Medical Centre in Netherlands found that a Buddha statue dating back to the 11th or 12th century encases the mummified remains of a monk.

Erik Bruijn, an expert in the field of Buddhist art and culture and guest curator at the World Museum in Rotterdam, had led the study which determined that the mummy was that of Buddhist master Liuquan, who belonged to the Chinese Meditation School. A CT scan and endoscopy were carried out by Museum at the Meander Medical Centre in Amersfoort, Netherlands Times reported.

The discovery is of great cultural significance, not only because it is one of a kind, but also because rolls of paper scraps covered in Chinese writing were found inside the statue.

Many practising Buddhists claim that mummies like these aren't technically dead, but are instead in an advanced state of meditation.

The mummy has been taken to the National Museum of Natural History in Budapest, Hungary where it will be on display until May 2015. The studies based on the tests and samples collected will be published in the monograph that will appear on Master Liuquan.