There must be an Elmer von Hagens out there -- a distant cousin to renowned old-school anatomist Gunter von Hagens. I have long been a fan of von Hagens work -- he takes donated human and animal bodies and has developed a way to "Plastinate" them -- removing all the tissue that can rot and replacing it with silicone resins. His dissection technique is downright artistry if controversial. He has several traveling shows, some touring in the USA now and these shows are making money -- a lot of money. From KGO/TV in San Francisco talking about the Bodyworks show:
The shows have been immensely popular around the world, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars. With that kind of money at stake, copy cat shows not produced by von Hagens were inevitable, including the one at San Francisco's Masonic Center.

Bob Henry, Int'l Society for Plastination: "This is what we feared would happen sooner or later, and it's upon us, I believe."
Well, the city of San Francisco is playing host to one such copy-cat show and there is a slight problem. The corpses are oozing fluid. From the same KGO/TV article:
Leaking Bodies Uncovered At Popular 'Body' Show
An exhibit of real human corpses is the most popular show ever at San Francisco's Masonic Center. But problems uncovered by the ABC7 I-Team threaten to shut down the exhibit.

The most obvious problem is the corpses are leaking. To understand how we got to the point of dead, dripping bodies for public view there on Nob Hill, it's important to see how this type of show began and how immensely profitable it can be.
A follow-up article from KGO/TV checks into the origin of the bodies and as they say, follows the money:
Dan: "Where did the bodies come from?"

Allan Casalou, Masonic Exec. Dir.: "They came from the university in Beijing."

The Masonic's executive director and the show's promoter claim they were able to bring the bodies from China with the help of Peking University and Professor EnHua Yu. The promoter, Gerhard Perner, says he pays rent to the Masonic, keeps 15-percent of the show's profits for himself, and sends the rest back to China.

ABC7's Dan Noyes: "Do the profits go to Dr. Yu personally or to the university?"

Gerhard Perner: "To the university."

But university officials say all that's not true. They had no role in acquiring the bodies, they're receiving no money. In fact, they never heard of this body show until contacted by the I-Team. We've learned that Perner was able to get bodies meant for medical research and teaching from a factory in Nanjing, China. It worries San Francisco supervisors that these bodies are now on display on Nob Hill.
Here is a picture of Dr. von Hagens with a friend:
Hat tip to BoingBoing for the link.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on May 26, 2005 9:18 PM.

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