A controversial German anatomy artist is facing protests over his latest plastination exhibition after unveiling a work showing two corpses having sexual intercourse.
Gunther von Hagens, whose latest exhibition, Cycle of Life , has just opened in Berlin, has defended the exhibit saying that it combines the two greatest taboos of sex and death and is a lesson in biology, but is not meant to be
The exhibition has drawn angry protests from German MPs as well as church representatives. They have called for the work to be withdrawn, saying it is pornographic and an insult to the dead.
Alice Ströver, an MP for the Green party, said: This couple is simply over the top, and it shouldn't be shown.
Love and death are obvious topics for art, but I find it quite disgusting to use them in this way, said Fritz Felgentreu an MP for the Social Democrats.
Update: London Dead for Sex
20th June 2009
The Sex Couple was unveiled in Berlin in May, and will now transfer to his Body Worlds & The Mirror Of Time show at London's O2.
The Health and Safety Department in Cologne, Germany, has barred the Body Worlds: Cycle of Life exhibition from depicting preserved bodies as if they are having sexual intercourse. The exhibit cannot show videos or photographs of the
Gunther von Hagens and his wife Angelina Whalley show corpses prepared using a technique invented by von Hagens called plastination, that removes water from specimens and preserves them with silicon rubber or epoxy resin. The cadavers are
stripped of skin to show muscles and organs, and are often put in active poses, including playing baseball and football.
Previous exhibits have been met with a mixture of intrigue and criticism, but for years now, the corpses have traveled the world as medical/art exhibits and been visited by more than 27 million people worldwide.
The two copulating corpses are only a portion of the latest exhibit, which covers conception to old age, but von Hagens said he is planning a new show entirely dedicated to displaying the dead bodies having sex.
While some cities have shown the bodies in sexual positions, but covered by clothing, Cologne has banned the material outright, and the Catholic Church has condemned the exhibit as a desecration of the human body. The copulating corpses also were
banned in Augsburg and Zurich.