The human bodies exhibition which will soon open at the Antipa Museum in Bucharest has already raised some controversy, as a group of associations sent an open letter to the museum’s director, saying the macabre show should be stopped. The exhibition includes over 200 items – real human bodies, that through organs and tissue dissection offer a real-life perspective of the human body, via the plastination technique, a scientific process that permanently preserves human tissue using liquid silicone rubber.
The Association Provita Media says the organizers – GForce Exhibitions - lack ethics in putting together this exhibition, in an attempt to only have a profitable business, given the expensive ticket prices, between RON 32 and RON 60 per person.
The authors of the open letter cite a series of articles in the international media, which call in question the correctness of information given by the exhibition curators, who say the individuals’ identities and ages are unknown and they died of natural causes. However, 2008 and 2010 articles in international media claimed the bodies were in fact Chinese prisoners who were executed.
The exhibits have already been presented in cities such as London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bratislava, Budapest, Dublin, Kiev, Lisbon, Madrid, Prague, Turin, Vienna and Oostende, as well as in the US, triggered criticism in the last as well, mainly from medical ethics commission and from human rights associations.
However, the Antipa Museum director, Academician Dumitru Murariu, said the exhibition only has educational purposes and he managed to get it to Romania after being asked by the public. As for the ticket price, he said he also disagreed that the price is too high for Romania, but the exhibition organizers have decided the Museum only gets 6 percent of the price of each ticket.
“It is a matter of knowing and not knowing. Some people want to know more, and they choose to visit the exhibition. Others don’t agree. But both groups should respect the other’s wishes,” said the museum director.
The Human Bodies exhibition will be on display at the National Museum of Natural History Grigore Antipa in Bucharest, between March 22 and June 30, 2013. The human bodies presented in the exhibition were donated, in compliance with Chinese legislation, to the Dalian Hoffen Bio-technique Laboratory.
Tickets for The Human Body exhibition cost between RON 32 and RON 60 for individuals and from RON 85 to RON 135 for groups. For groups of over 10 children the price is RON 30 per person. Tickets can be purchased from the Antipa Museum, Germanos, Orange and Vodafone stores, Carturesti and Humanitas bookshops, or online here.
(photo source: Antipa Museum)