‘Dr. Death’ Gunther von Hagens Opens Corpse Museum in Berlin

Gunther von Hagens is known as 'Dr. Death' in Germany Photo: BZ Berlin

After extensive legal wrangling, the controversial German corpse taxidermist, Gunther von Hagens, finally opened a museum in Berlin today, AFP reports.

Located at the base of the television tower at Alexanderplatz, the exhibits include 20 preserved corpses and around 200 human organs.

In December 2014, a Berlin administrative court overturned the district of Mitte’s ban of the museum. The district argued that the plastinated bodies contravened German funerary legislation which prohibits the public display of human remains. (see “Gunther von Hagens’ Macabre Museum allowed by German Court”)

Nicknamed ‘Dr. Death’ by the German press, von Hagens has previously relied on pop-up exhibitions around the world to display his grisly exhibitions. Von Hagens’ wife, Angelina Whalley, told AFP that since the opening of his first exhibition in 1995, his shows have attracted over 40 million visitors in 23 countries .

A controversial figure, von Hagens has always maintained that the aim of his exhibitions was to educate people on the human body. However he has routinely created contention. In 2009 he provoked outrage after displaying two corpses having sex at a Berlin exhibition. As a result several countries, including France, have banned plastinated corpses from being exhibited within their borders

As part of the gruesome ‘plastination’ preparation process invented by von Hagen, bodies are skinned and treated with a synthetic resin solution for preservation. The method leaves the body’s muscles, tendons and nervous system exposed.

However, the ghastly plastination process has not discouraged over 15,000 donors from giving their remains to the museum.

For more creepy museums (see “The World’s 19 Creepiest Museums“)


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