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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 July, 2003, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
Body exhibits show 'will go on'
Prof. von Hagens with a
Prof. von Hagens with a "plasticinised" body
The organisers of an exhibition featuring a child's dead body say it will go ahead despite being refused a venue by Edinburgh City Council.

Professor Gunther von Hagens hoped to display the preserved skinless bodies, including an infant and three adults, in Princes Street Gardens on Thursday.

The council has declined on the grounds some people could find it offensive.

But a spokesman for the professor's Body Worlds show said they had already found an alternative venue where the public would be able to see the bodies.

The anatomy expert has been trying to find somewhere in Edinburgh to hold the display after being turned down by several institutions.

He had hoped it would coincide with the opening at the Fringe of a musical black comedy, Corpus, which was inspired by his work.

It is not appropriate to grant approval for this exhibition to be staged in the gardens
Edinburgh Council
Professor von Hagens will play violin on stage with the cast of Corpus at C Venues on Wednesday and will hold a debate on the ethics of Body Worlds on Thursday.

A spokeswoman for the local authority said: "The City of Edinburgh Council has not approved the application to hold the Body Works Exhibition in Princes Street Gardens.

"For much of the year, but particularly during summer and the Fringe and festival period, the gardens offer a range of activities for children and people of all ages to enjoy and allow them to relax in tranquil surroundings.

"The proposed exhibition has the potential to give offence to some visitors.

"Therefore we believe it is not appropriate to grant approval for this exhibition to be staged in the gardens."

Participants sought

Professor von Hagens has sparked outrage across the world with his displays of human bodies but they have also proved very popular.

The professor says the object of the exhibition, in which the bodies are injected with a polymer and taken apart, is "education and enlightenment".

While in Edinburgh, he is keen to recruit people willing to make a posthumous appearance in his show.

The anatomical exhibitions of preserved human corpses and body parts in varying phases of dissection have attracted eight million visitors worldwide since they began in 1995.

To date more than 4,500 people have offered to give their bodies to Professor von Hagens for use in his displays.

In 2002, he brought the show to London. It was a huge success and attracted well over 550,000 visitors.

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