CORRECTION: Statement from the Organizers of Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS Exhibitions

2012-08-20 07:00 1027

HEIDELBERG, Germany, Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- In recent days, there have been a number of factually incorrect, misleading, and false reports in China's online, print, and electronic media about Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS— the original anatomical exhibition of real human bodies.  These reports make erroneous and false statements about the bodies used in Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS exhibitions.

It is important to note that Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS is the original exhibition of real human bodies and that it is not affiliated with copycat displays. Though Dr. von Hagens' Plastination invention – the process that makes anatomical specimen preservation and display possible -- has been used by copycat exhibits, Dr. von Hagens is not affiliated with any of the copycats that use his invention and methods. The only exhibitions Dr. von Hagens is affiliated with are those that bear the name, Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS.

Excluding a small number of specimens acquired from historical anatomical collections and anatomy programs, the plastinated specimens on display in Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS exhibitions stem from a unique Body Donation Program established in Heidelberg (, Germany in 1978.  The bodies in Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS are donor bodies willed by donors, to be used after their death, for the express purpose of educating the public about health and anatomy.  The body donor program, managed by the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg since 1993, has a roster of more than 13,300 individuals, the majority of them German and North American.

Documents relating to the donated bodies in Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS have been satisfactorily reviewed by two ethics committees formed by the California Science Center in Los Angeles, USA and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, USA where Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS exhibitions were presented in 2005.  A copy of the ethics review is available for download here:

While there are copycats that use Chinese bodies, Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS exhibitions do not include Chinese bodies.  While copycats have admitted using unclaimed and found bodies from China, Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS exhibitions states categorically that it has never used unclaimed or found bodies, or bodies of executed Chinese prisoners for that matter, in its anatomical exhibitions of real human bodies.

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