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Wednesday, 27 March, 2002, 10:43 GMT
Man charged over corpse show damage
Body Worlds
The exhibition has been seen by millions around the world
A 50-year-old man has been charged with criminal damage after an alleged hammer attack on an exhibit at Body Worlds, a controversial exhibition of preserved human corpses in London.

The Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday afternoon that Geoffrey Lee, from north London had been arrested after the incident.

He has now been bailed to appear before Thames Magistrates Court on 9 April.

Body Works exhibition opens
The exhibits reveal human anatomy
The damaged exhibit has been withdrawn from the show, and will be sent to Germany for repair at the laboratory of Body Worlds organizer Dr Gunther von Hagens.

The man is alleged to have knocked the exhibit - The Organ Donor, a man holding a liver - to the ground and struck it with a hammer, after paying the 10 admission charge.

The Body Worlds exhibition at the Atlantis Gallery in London's East End has already attracted criticism - and one paint attack.

'Plastination'

It features 175 body parts and 25 corpses in various poses and has attracted some 3,000 visitors since it opened on Saturday.

The human remains have all been donated by volunteers and are preserved by a process called plastination - which costs 30,000 and 35,000 for each body, say organisers.

Body Worlds
Louis Haeri, 10, looks at an exhibit
A spokesman for the exhibition said there was no connection between the incident and a protest on Saturday, in which Martin Wynness threw a blanket over the exhibit of a pregnant woman and her seven-month-old foetus.

He also tipped paint on the floor, and condemned the exhibition as "disrespectful" to human remains.

When creator Professor Gunther von Hagens announced his intention to bring the exhibition to the UK, some MPs declared their disgust and the government said it would check whether it contravened any laws.

But the Department of Health said no British law covers such an exhibition and it opened as planned on Saturday.

Professor von Hagens has denied that the exhibition is sensationalist or degrading, saying he wants to "democratise anatomy" and let people see things that only professionals had been able to view before.


Click here to go to London

Talking PointFORUM
Body part show
Prof Von Hagens answers your questions
See also:

23 Mar 02 | Arts
Paint protest at corpse show
22 Mar 02 | Arts
Corpse show leaves sour taste
12 Mar 02 | Arts
MPs condemn body parts show
15 Mar 99 | Sci/Tech
The art of anatomy
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