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Gunther Von Hagens' BODY WORLDS and KORPERWELTEN - Not Affiliated With Paris Copycat Display
Date:4/22/2009

HEIDELBERG, Germany, April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany and its Scientific Director, anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens - creators of the world renowned anatomical exhibitions: BODY WORLDS and KORPERWELTEN - categorically state that their exhibitions are NOT in any way associated with or affiliated to OUR BODY, the display in Paris which has been ordered by the French court to close its doors to the public.

In the last twenty four hours, French and other media have mistakenly referred to and referenced Dr. Gunther von Hagens and BODY WORLDS, when reporting on the French judicial ruling banning the display in Paris. Media coverage of the ban confuses the public by referring to BODY WORLDS when discussing the copycat in Paris, and illustrating news articles with images from BODY WORLDS.

Dr. von Hagens says: "I have been an anatomist for more than thirty five years, and during my career I have taken great pains to present anatomical exhibitions in the tradition of Renaissance anatomy. The exhibitions that bear my name are Western scientific enquiries that are bound by inviolable European standards of human rights and ethics. My exhibitions only use donor bodies, primarily German, from the Heidelberg Institute for Plastination's Body Donation Program. BODY WORLDS is not affiliated or connected in any way to the cadaver display in Paris."

For more than five years, a number of businessmen attempting to imitate Dr. von Hagens' publicly and critically acclaimed exhibitions, have roamed the globe with cadaver displays of unclaimed and found bodies from China. Several of the copycat displays have drawn criticism from ethicists, human rights organizations, and religious groups due to the absence of evidence showing body donation and legal consent of those on display.

Laogai Research Foundation, an agency in Washington DC that monitors and documents human rights violations in China has frequently declared its concerns, over the use of unclaimed and found Chinese bodies in copycat displays, to the New York Times and other media. The subject was most recently explored in an investigation by American television network, ABC's award-winning 20/20 news program. http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4296982&page=1

The Institute for Plastination and Dr. von Hagens reiterate that they are not associated to the display in Paris facing a ban ruled by the French court. "As a former political prisoner in East Germany, I believe firmly in the principles of democracy, freedom, and free will. Thus from the beginning of my career, when I established the only body donation program for Plastination in the world, I felt morally obligated to the doctrine of legal consent for those on public display. It is imperative that the media and public of Paris and France know that I am not associated with the cadaver display in Paris, and that any reports suggesting otherwise are false."

For more information, please visit www.bodyworlds.com.


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SOURCE The Institute for Plastination
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