Work of Gunther von Hagens – level 3
It’s like Madame Tussaud’s but with real bodies. The newest museum in Berlin has unveiled its own collection of figures and they are no wax works, but actually real human bodies which have been preserved in a variety of poses.
The Körperwelten Museum, which means Body Worlds, is set to open its doors to the public on Wednesday after a struggle with local authorities who tried to ban it, but were overturned by an administrative court.
It showcases 20 complete bodies alongside numerous organs, bones and tissue which have all been preserved using the plastination technique.
The technique was developed by a German anatomist doctor Gunther von Hagens, whereby water and fat are replaced with plastic to prevent decay.
Von Hagens is no stranger to controversy – his televised public autopsy he performed in front of a live audience in 2002 caused a public outrage, as did his online shop selling human and animal body parts when it opened in 2010.
The main collection offers visitors the chance to get up, close and personal with the dead, peeking beneath the skin to observe the intricacies of muscles, joints, the digestive system, reproductive organs and all manner of other body parts at close quarters. And if that’s not interactive enough for, you could one day become part of the project by pledging to donate your body after death.
Difficult words: Madame Tussaud’s (a museum with people made out of wax), unveil (to show people for the first time), struggle (a fight), overturn (to change), administrative court (a type of court), tissue (material from which living things are made), prevent (to stop), decay (to fall apart), controversy (when people have strong opinions about something), autopsy (an examination of a dead body), outrage (shock), peek (to look a little bit at something), intricacies (details), at close quarters (very close to each other), pledge (to say something officially), donate (to give).
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