DENVER, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS, the traveling anatomical exhibitions of donor bodies welcomes its 25th million visitor this week. Though it will not be known if the distinction will go to a visitor entering the turnstile at BODY WORLDS in Los Angeles, or if the honor will go instead to a visitor at BODY WORLDS in Milwaukee, or Baltimore, or Manchester, England, the number is a stellar achievement in museum exhibition history.
Since 1996, when anatomist, Gunther von Hagens presented the first BODY WORLDS at the National Science Center in Tokyo, to commemorate the centennial of the Japanese Anatomical Society, the exhibitions, now numbering four, have struck a deep chord and resonated with people in 47 cities around the world. In Los Angeles, more than 1 million people have seen BODY WORLDS in its three editions; in Chicago -- 1,187,583; Berlin -- 1,393,902; Seoul -- 2,039,136; London -- 840,611; Brussels -- 506,793; Denver -- 687,022.
The numbers are so staggering that Jeff Rudolph, President of the California Science Center, who presented the first BODY WORLDS exhibition in North America, followed by the second and, now, third of Dr. von Hagens' exhibitions, coined a new term for the phenomena -- The BODY WORLDS Effect. "BODY WORLDS brought not just expanded audiences ... but enhanced our brand as a science learning institution," wrote Rudolph, who is now also one of 8,458 registered donors in the Body Donation Program of the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany, the primary source of bodies in BODY WORLDS exhibitions.
A seminal museum experience that inserted the post-mortal body into the cultural landscape and contemporary consciousness, BODY WORLDS exhibitions have fulfilled their mission of public health and science education, but also forever changed our notions about conception and death by provoking philosophical and religious reflection in visitors.
In the October 2007 Journal
|SOURCE BODY WORLDS|
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