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Case of Russian Corpses Back to Haunt Von Hagens

January 22, 2004

Gunther von Hagens, the man behind the controversial ‘Body Worlds’ exhibition, is facing renewed investigation into 56 corpses which the so-called Doctor Death acquired from Russia for the purposes of plasticization and display. The bodies, bought by Professor Hagens to be preserved and arranged in his macabre collection of posing dead, are at the center of speculation concerning whether permission to be plasticized was granted before the deceased passed away. Von Hagens was cleared by a local court in Nowosibirsk, Russia in November but a higher regional court in Siberia has now reopened the case on the basis of new, undisclosed evidence. There's a possibility that the proceedings will take place in Germany where the charge of "disturbing the peace of the dead" could be called upon.