Professor defends controversial 'Bodies' exhibition


The former Professor of Anatomy behind a controversial exhibition which features dissected human bodies has defended the use of dead people in it who had no known next-of-kin.

Dr Roy Glover, the chief medical director for BodiesThe Exhibitionwhich takes place from Saturday at the Ambassador Theatre in Dublin, said the use of unclaimed bodies for such purposes is well-established in medical schools.

The exhibition takes visitors through galleries providing an up-close look inside the skeletal, muscular, reproductive, respiratory, circulatory and other systems of the human body.

Many of the whole-body specimens are displayed in athletic poses. In addition, authentic human specimens illustrate the damage caused to organs by overeating and lack of exercise.

The exhibition has been seen by 11 million visitors around the world, but has also been dogged by controversy with suggestions that the exhibits were either executed Chinese prisoners or were people who had not given their consent to have their bodies shown after their death.

The bodies are all those of Chinese people and they were prepared for the exhibition are preserved using a technique called polymer preservation.

Dr Glover said: “We have practiced due diligence in obtaining the bodies. We work with a partner that we have the utmost amount of trust in – the Dalian Plastination Facility in Dalian, China.

“The person I work with it is a personal friend of mine. We have been in the same professional organisations for many years. He has sworn affidavits to the effect that the bodies were those who have died of natural causes.

“We have examined every one of the bodies who come into the show for any evidence of trauma or any kind of physical abuse.”

The exhibition will run for six months and the promoters MCD have sent invitations to medical schools and primary and second-level students.

Dr Glover said its purpose was educational and designed to persuade people to look after their own bodies better.

“We need people to be better informed about these issues and learn more about their body,” he said.

“People will be learning about themselves. We think there is no more important information that should be made available to the general public than to come and see and learn from this exhibition.”