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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 March, 2004, 11:33 GMT
Body 'professor' fined over title
Dr von Hagens with one of his exhibits
Almost 14 million people have visited the Body Worlds show
A German scientist who created a controversial exhibition of human corpses has been fined 144,000 euros (96,000) for using the title Professor.

Dr Gunther von Hagens was found guilty of "abuse of an academic title" by prosecutors in Heidelberg, Germany.

His title was awarded by a Chinese university - but the University of Heidelberg complained that he gave the impression he got it in Germany.

Almost 14 million people have seen his Body Worlds show of preserved corpses.

The Von Hagens Plastination factory in Dalian north-east China
The Von Hagens Plastination factory is in Dalian north-east China
Using his own method of preserving body parts called Plastination, the show has attracted questions over taste and the origins of the corpses.

Von Hagens denied a link to Russian bodies that were obtained without permission from relatives. He has also denied using executed Chinese prisoners.

But Body Worlds has pulled in crowds including 5.4 million in Germany, 3.1 million in Korea and 840,000 in London.

Von Hagens worked at the University of Heidelberg from 1974-96, but was made professor by the Dalian Medical University in north-east China.

Prosecutors in Heidelberg are also considering whether to launch a full-scale investigation into possible charges of disturbing the peace of the dead over the allegations of using Chinese prisoners.

The plastination professor
20 Nov 02  |  Health
Seat at the autopsy sideshow
21 Nov 02  |  Health

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