This post was edited by sunnylin01 at 2012-8-23 15:25|
The picture shows German doctor Gunther von Hagnes posing with plastinated human corpses at an exhibition. [Sina.com]
Pictures showing plastinated human bodies on display at exhibitions around the world have sparked discussion among Chinese netizens regarding the bodies' origins.
The debate was triggered by a series of pictures showing a man posing with plastinated human corpses at an exhibition. Netizens on China's major microblogs were deeply curious to learn exactly where the corpses came from.
The focus centered on German doctor Gunther von Hagens, the founding father of plastination, which involves embalming corpses with preserving polyurethane in order to preserve them. Hagens spent 15 million yuan on the construction of a plastination factory in China's Dalian City in 1999; however the factory is now closed although no reason was given for its closure.
Hagens' factory plastinated the corpses which sparked the current debate, and then embarked on a foreign tour with them, showing them at exhibitions worldwide. The exhibitions have so far attracted 30 million visitors.
One of Hagens' competitors, the New York-based plastination exhibition company Premier Exhibitions, has also become embroiled in the debate. Premier Exhibitions posted a disclaimer on its website, as part of a settlement between the company and the New York State Attorney's Office in May, 2008.
The disclaimer read: "This exhibit displays human remains of Chinese citizens or residents, which were originally received by the Chinese Bureau of Police… With respect to the human parts, organs, fetuses and embryos you are viewing, Premier relies solely on the representations of its Chinese partners and cannot independently verify that they do not belong to persons executed while incarcerated in Chinese prisons."
The disclaimer has, though, done nothing to quell the online furor surrounding the exhibited corpses. One netizen, writing under the name "Fangarr" referred to the disclaimer in asking how many crimes over the course of the past 13 years had contributed to these exhibitions.
Another netizen wrote: "Even the fascists never sold their own people's corpses for money."
Agency reports contributed to this story.