Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS exhibits are the first public
anatomical exhibitions of real human plastinates. They have been on
display worldwide since 1995 and so far, 40 million visitors
have viewed the exhibits at venues in more than 100 cities across America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.
The exceptional success of the exhibits
is to a great extent due to its educational value. They are structured
in such a way that visitors experience it much as they would a
three-dimensional textbook: anatomy as the foundation of the body is
laid out in an educational and elucidating fashion. Visitors learn
about the body’s functions; they also realize how highly sophisticated
and beautiful, and yet how fragile the body is.
have sought to exploit the BODY WORLDS phenomena by appropriating the
Plastination process invented and patented by Dr. Gunther von Hagens,
and offering inferior imitations of BODY WORLDS. However, Dr. von
Hagens believes that BODY WORLDS alone resonates with the public,
"because it fills the longing for the authentic in a time of
practically unlimited reproducibility."