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Last Updated: Friday, 6 August, 2004, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Dissected bodies 'not a sideshow'
Image of a dissected body
The exhibits are preserved using a special technique
An exhibition of dissected human bodies is educational and not a sideshow say its organisers.

The Bodies Revealed exhibition at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, Lancashire, sparked anger among critics who branded it "sick".

A reverend said the display would be more about "sensationalism" than education.

But organiser Dr Roy Glover says it has legitimate scientific merit and is not simply "a sideshow".

'Educational benefits'

Reverend Michael Manley, vicar of Blackpool's St John's Church, said the exhibition showed "taste" was low down on modern society's agenda.

"It damages people's dignity," he said. "To me it will be just a case of sensationalism really, which we could well do without, especially in such a family area.

Other critics have said it is macabre and sick.

Images from the Bodies Revealed exhibition

But Dr Glover said: "This is not a sideshow.

"It may be surprising, but most of all people will come away with a better sense of themselves as human beings.

"The educational benefits are immense and we believe that the exhibition will provide a superb opportunity for people with an interest in anatomy and for people who just simply want to know more about their own health," he said.

The exhibit includes 13 whole bodies and around 200 organs, each preserved using a revolutionary technique called polymer preservation or plastination.

In this process, water and fat in tissue are replaced by curable polymers - silicon, epoxy and polyester - which are subsequently hardened, resulting in dry, odourless and durable specimens.

The same technique was used by German professor Gunther von Hagens in his Bodyworld project, which sparked similar debates two years ago.

All of the corpses are of people who donated their bodies to medical science.

Corpse exhibition provokes anger
29 Jul 04  |  Lancashire

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