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'Dr Death' Exhibit of Preserved Corpses Banned in Berlin

Image: A plastinated body in the Body Worlds exhibition
A plastinated body in the Body Worlds exhibition in Munich, Germany, on May 20.Sven Hoppe / picture-alliance/dpa via AP, file

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BERLIN - An exhibit featuring human corpses by Germany’s famed “Dr. Death” has been banned in Berlin for violating funeral laws, according to media reports Tuesday. A permanent exhibit of works by artist and anatomist Gunther von Hagen was due to open in a new museum in the German capital in December. The "Menschen" — or "Humans — Museum was to feature 20 bodies and 200 body parts preserved through a process known as "plastination." Berlin hosted von Hagen’s Body Worlds exhibits in 2001, 2009 and 2011, even though local Berlin law states that deceased humans must be buried.

Von Hagen and his wife were set to file a complaint against the decision and planned to proceed with the opening, according to museum spokesman David Eckel. The exhibit has toured the world for years, giving visitors a look at human anatomy and physiology. A permanent exhibition recently opened in New York. In 2012, von Hagen told German mass circulation Bild newspaper that he was suffering from Parkinsons, and that after he passed away his wife and son would plastinate and exhibit his own body.

Image: A plastinated body in the Body Worlds exhibition
A plastinated body in the Body Worlds exhibition in Munich, Germany, on May 20.Sven Hoppe / picture-alliance/dpa via AP, file

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