Körperwelten (Body Worlds)
The notorious anatomical exhibition body worlds is back in germany again. it is supposed to have completely new and unseen preparations. back in the 90ies i have visited the showroom in mannheim and was quite impressed.
in the meantime the exhibition and his founder – the infamous “professor” von-Hagens, inventor of the plastination-method – has been the object of many scandals in regard to the aquisition of dead persons and other ethical questions (e.g. the correctnes of his professorship).
Von-Hagens, who has temporarily been a professor for anatomy at the university of heidelberg in the 80ies, is known to be a wacky/eccentric person. He has a strange, “artistic” approach to the prepararion of his anatomic exhibits, which i find quite inappropriate. He always said in defence, that the plastinated corpse has no identity any more, but becomes an article of virtue of it’s own, and noone will recognise the donator, anyway – thus the peace of the dead cannot not disturbed. Yet, lately von-Hagens plans to reveal the identity of each exhibit in order to rebut all reproaches linked to the alleged utilisation of chinese death-row-candidates for preparation! So, maybe every exhibit will soon be labled like that: “this has been klaus mueller from duesburg who died of heart failure”. How bizarre.
Nevertheless, i will visit the exhibition on wednesday, cause it is indisputable, that those plastinations are an invaluable source of anatomical education for medical students… if medical laypersons (even children) should be allowed to visit the exhibition, well, that’s another story!