In the city of Guben, Germany there are rumours that the plastinarium of Dr. Gunther von Hagens might soon be closed down and even that the father might be incapacitated by the son. This was reported in an article by the newspaper “Lausitzer Rundschau“. The son of the bodyworlds creator Dr. Gunther von Hagens denied these rumours: He is going to take over the position as managing director and further employment cuts were necessary. The bodyworlds exhibitions (now in Seoul, San Juan – Puerto Rico, in Naples, Amsterdam und London) are still the most profitable business of the Insitute for Plastination.
Just as interesting as the article in the internet are the comments and discussions about it: It seems that a comment which mentioned the dept overload of the Gubener Plastinate GmbH was deleted by now. This comment also mentioned how the dept overload could be verified at www.bundesanzeiger.de (German Federal Gazette) by entering “Gubener Plastinate GmbH” in the search field.
Link to article.
The fact that Dr. Gunther von Hagens’ son will take over the position as managing director was already announced last summer during a Plastination conference of the International Society for Plastination (link to youtube channel Plastinate).
The Speaker of the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg announced that Dr. Gunther von Hagens’ son Rurik von Hagens will instantly be general manager of the plastination facilities in Guben. The number of staff in Guben was reduced from initial 180 to 42 recently. The “Plastinarium” in Guben produces plastinates that are also offered in an online shop and that are displayed in the bodyworlds exhibitions. Newspaper article in the Märkische Oderzeitung.
What most don’t understand is that most of the csorpes are from political opponents of China and others deemed to be criminals and executed. The best specimens are healthy humans in the prime of their lives who have not been in any accidents. These people don’t normally spontaneously die, so China found a way to make money off of killing them. Any people who go to view these abominations have blood on their hands.
Frank, instead of coltecling dust in a cellar, why not incinerate the plastinates after use, as US medical schools are doing with plastinated remains? The ashes could be scattered, disposed of as medical waste, or buried in a communal grave just as medical school cadavers. As for spectacular shows of Body Worlds, if the plastination exhibits are designed in a way that inspires people to donate organs and whole bodies to medical science, then being eaten by worms is not charming, but a dead end . Traditional earth burial does not allow the donor to keep participating in the human experience, or to extend the lives of other people. Plus, it takes up precious land space, against ecological conservation. So, what’s the choice, a secular, medical disposition (plastination for exhibits or medical schools or organ and body donation)? Or should we still harbor irrational fears and superstitions about the body, and practice medieval burial practices? Certainly, I agree, plastination will not be hip someday, but more commonly accepted in natural history museums, in addition to anatomical and medical displays. Predictably, someday egomaniacs will be preserved in a Lenin-style tomb with plstination, and that market remains untapped for the funeral industry n the United States. In this declining global economy, expect the trends towards whole body donation and cremation to accelerate. Thus, plastination is not a passing fad, but an new, emerging technology that changes everything, and remains in its infancy.