Press Releases & Statements 2006


BODY WORLDS 2 HOURS EXTENDED AT THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE—WITH JUST FOUR WEEKS LEFT

Boston, December 14, 2006—Beginning December 26, 2006 the Museum of Science will offer extended evening hours to Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS 2: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies. The Museum of Science projected the exhibit, which opened last July, would draw more than 400,000 visitors—making it one of the highest attended exhibits in the Museum's history. Extended hours will be 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Sunday starting December 26 through January 7, 2007. With only four weeks left advance tickets are strongly recommended and can be obtained by calling at 617-723-2500 or online at www.mos.org.

To date, more than 390,000 visitors have toured the exhibit at the Museum of Science. “We chose to host the BODY WORLDS 2 exhibit so that our visitors would gain a new understanding and appreciation for the human body and could also see first-hand how individual lifestyle choices can influence their overall health and well-being,” said Paul Fontaine, the Museum’s Vice President of Programs. “We’re very excited that the exhibit has been so well-received by Museum visitors, including more than 31,000 middle school and high school students and teachers who have toured the exhibit. In addition, our complementary programs, from a mini-med school course to a high school anatomy lecture series, were sold out.

”Since 1996, over 20 million people around the world – in over 35 cities across Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada – have viewed the BODY WORLDS exhibits. Boston guests are very enthusiastic about the exhibit and have filled multiple comment books about their experiences, like:

  • “Thank you. I will quit smoking.”

  • “This was life changing. I can’t wait to tell my family about it.”

  • “An amazing insight into the human body.”

  • “Absolutely fascinating!”

BODY WORLDS are first-of-their-kind exhibitions through which visitors learn about anatomy, physiology, and health by viewing real human bodies, using an extraordinary process called Plastination a groundbreaking method for specimen preservation invented by Dr. Gunther von Hagens.

To avoid lines, it is strongly recommended that guests purchase advance tickets by calling 617-723-2500 or online at www.mos.org. It is also recommend that guests check the website for possible changes to the exhibit schedule and ticket availability. The last entry to BODY WORLDS 2 is 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 p.m. weekends. To enrich the exhibit experience it is recommended that visitors take advantage of the audio guides, which are available in English, French and Spanish for an additional fee.

Don’t miss BODY WORLDS 2 Health Talk Lecture Series:
Join health professionals for informative health lectures on a variety of different wellness topics. The health talks are included with admission to the BODY WORLDS 2 exhibit:

Tuesday, December 19, 12:00-2:00 p.m. - Energy Balance by Bally
Bally Total Fitness certified fitness professionals will be on hand to educate and assess individuals on the importance of energy balance with the appropriate levels of calories in versus calories out!

Tuesday December 19, 5:00-6:00 p.m. - Pain & Injury Prevention and Assessment
Dr. Ben Benjamin founder of the Muscular Therapy Institute will give an interactive presentation on understanding and preventing pain and injury problems.

For more information, visit www.mos.org/bodyworlds.

Note to Editors:
Images are available to download from the BODY WORLDS press picture database at http://www.bodyworlds.com/en/media/picture_database.html

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Anatomist, Dr. Gunther von Hagens Reiterates His Mission of Public Health Education to Press Corps in Guben, Germany.

GUBEN, November 29, 2006—Anatomist, Dr. Gunther von Hagens told a small gathering of reporters today that the PLASTINARIUM, the Plastination laboratory he recently established in Guben, Germany, and the presentation of the BODY WORLDS anatomical exhibition in Casino Royale, the latest James Bond film, are natural and inevitable extensions of his thirty year career as an anatomist and advocate of public health and public anatomy.

Beyond its role as a powerful public health education program, BODY WORLDS is a cultural phenomena that has been seen by nearly 20 million people around the world. Plastination has allowed the admission of the post-mortal body into public consciousness for the first time,” Dr. von Hagens said.

In answer to reporters questions about the controversial nature of the PLASTINARIUM, Dr. von Hagens said: "Bringing the post-mortal body into the public domain is viewed as a transgressive act only because death itself is controversial.”

Responding to a question about his reasons for making BODY WORLDS and the PLASTINARIUM accessible to the public, he said, “Throughout my career, I have promoted the democratization of anatomy, of demythologizing the body interior not just for the medical and scientific world, but for the general public.” 

When queried about his intentions beyond his stated mission of health education, Dr. von Hagens replied: “I wish to show that death is completely normal and that life is the exception. I want people to judge for themselves, what the body is, where we come from, and where we are going. Death is an absence of the soul, and I believe that we must understand and know death in order to embrace life. It is my hope that when death is no longer hidden and its reality is embraced, people will ponder their individual actions.”

Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS, a series of three traveling public anatomical exhibitions, are collaboration between donor, anatomist, and visitor. Using Plastination, Dr. von Hagens’ groundbreaking invention of anatomical specimen preservation, deceased bodies bequeathed during their lifetime by donors registered with the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, are prepared for the BODY WORLDS exhibitions and the education of many.

BODY WORLDS  exhibitions, already seen by nearly 20 million people in 35 cities across Europe, Asia and North America, are currently showing at science museums in Boston and St. Paul in the United States, and in Vancouver, Canada. A selection from the exhibitions appears in Casino Royale, the 21st film in the James Bond series. Dr. von Hagens recently established, PLASTINARIUM, a plastination laboratory in Guben, Germany.

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Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS LAUNCHES DRAMATIC APPEAL TO SMOKERS

St. Paul, November 14, 2006—Not content to merely offer striking comparisons of healthy and smoker’s lungs, Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS, the Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies announced I Quit—a  smoking cessation program in partnership with The American Cancer Society.

I Quit was conceived after cleaning crews kept finding unfinished packs of cigarettes on the glass display case containing the smoker’s lung. “Each rejected pack marked a victory by one person against nicotine addiction,” said Dr. Angelina Whalley, a physician, and designer of the BODY WORLDS exhibitions.  “Many visitors to the exhibition reported that they had tried everything but only stopped after seeing the smoker’s lung,” said Whalley.  While considering a formal smoking cessation program, she remembered the dramatic public service announcement by the actor, Yul Brynner before his death from cancer in 1985.  “I wanted to unite his message to the donor’s lungs to inspire people to give up smoking,” Whalley said.

Presented from the month of November, I Quit -- stationed inside the BODY WORLDS exhibitions at science museums in Boston, MA, St. Paul, MN and Vancouver, Canada -- will feature an inspirational multimedia smoking cessation program that includes the memorable PSA by the late Mr. Brynner, pledge cards for visitors intending to give up smoking, a repository where visitors can leave their last packs of cigarettes, and take home information about smoking. Special events are also planned in conjunction with the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Foundation.

Unlike copycat anatomical displays that use unclaimed and found bodies from China, BODY WORLDS is a collaboration—a joint quest towards enlightenment between anatomist, donor, and visitor.   “Inside the exhibitions, those who have gone before us teach the living,” said Dr. Whalley.  Mr. Brynner was very much alive in January 1985 when he appeared on ABCs Good Morning America after learning that he had lung cancer, attributed to his heavy smoking. He spoke then of his desire to deliver a message about smoking after his death. “I want to make a commercial and say, “Now that I am gone. I tell you: Don’t smoke, whatever you do, just don’t smoke,” he said. “This was his last will and testament and we wish for more people to hear it and be inspired by it,” said Dr. Whalley.

Independent surveys conducted at BODY WORLDS exhibits have revealed that 68% of visitors resolved to pay more attention to their physical health after seeing the exhibit.  At one venue where a follow-up survey was conducted, results showed that 10% of visitors stated that they had smoked less and consumed less alcohol since their visit to the exhibition.

More information on health screenings and additional programs accompanying the campaign, currently underway at BODY WORLDS exhibits in St. Paul at the Science Museum of Minnesota and in Boston at the Museum of Science, can be found by visiting www.bodyworlds.com. Additional information for the American Cancer Society and the Great American Smokeout is available at, www.headandneck.org and www.cancer.org.

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A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LOOK AT THE WORKINGS OF THE HUMAN BODY

Montréal, October 30, 2006—Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS 2, the world-renowned anatomical exhibition, will be in Montréal from May 10 to September 16, 2007, exclusively at the Montréal Science Centre. Visitors will have a chance to appreciate all the elegance and complexity of real human bodies, preserved using a revolutionary process called Plastination.

BODY WORLDS has already earned public and critical acclaim in 35 cities throughout Europe, Asia and North America, and has been viewed by over 20 million people worldwide. Where Canada is concerned, this fascinating exhibition is now in Vancouver (BODY WORLDS 3) ) and has been to Toronto, where 472,000 visitors, including 73,000 elementary and high school students, were able to appreciate it.

What is BODY WORLDS 2?
Created by German doctor and anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens, BODY WORLDS 2 is a display of over 200 authentic human body specimens, including numerous organs and some 20 whole bodies. This unique and authentic anatomical exhibition provides a new perspective on the marvels of the human body. Visitors can get a better understanding of different body functions, from locomotion to digestion, compare healthy organs to diseased ones (for instance, healthy lungs and a smoker’s lungs) and even observe the different stages of embryonic development.

According to Benoît Légaré, Vice-President of the Montréal Science Centre, “the rich educational content of the BODY WORLDS 2 exhibition is directly linked to our mission. It is an exceptional opportunity for our visitors to learn about anatomy and health. The human body’s marvellous architecture is usually hidden to us, but this exhibition lets us not only see it and understand it, but appreciate it all the more. Furthermore, this knowledge is disseminated in a spirit of great respect towards the human body.”

BODY WORLDS 2 gives visitors the type of access to human bodies that, in the past, was restricted to medical students and health professionals. Some 20 whole-body plastinates are exhibited in dynamic and athletic poses, making it possible to examine the various systems and understand how they interact with one another.

A revolutionary technique: Plastination

The specimens on display have all undergone Plastination, a revolutionary preservation method invented by Dr. von Hagens in 1977. Plastination is the process of extracting all bodily fluids and soluble fat from specimens, replacing them through vacuum forced impregnation with reactive resins and elastomers, and then curing them with light, heat, or certain gases, which give the specimens rigidity and permanence. Because of Plastination, specimens can be displayed in lifelike poses, seemingly in action or performing certain sports moves.

A concerted and ethical approach
BODY WORLDS 2 is the only anatomical exhibition that relies on the generosity of donors, people who expressly willed their bodies to be used for educational purposes. Apart from a small number of acquisitions from anatomical collections and anatomy programs, all the exhibited specimens were obtained through a body donation program started in 1983 by Dr. von Hagens. The program is now managed by the Institute for Plastination, founded in 1993 in Heidelberg, Germany.
The Foundation of the Montréal Science Centre is presenting this exhibition because it is in keeping with the Centre’s mission, that is, to ensure that everyone is provided access to science and technology to help them build their future.

Before the North American premiere of BODY WORLDS, an independent ethics review was conducted by a distinguished committee of theologians, ethicists, academics and medical luminaries. For its presentation in Montréal, the Montréal Science Centre is working closely with a scientific committee of experts in the fields of anatomy, medicine, bioethics and education.

To all visitors
BODY WORLDS 2 - STARTING MAY 10, 2007
Visitors may buy their tickets in advance. Tickets for the exhibition are for specific times, so visitors should choose the date and time of their visit before purchasing their tickets.
By phone at 514-496-4724/1 877 496-4724, with a credit card handy, during the hours of operation of the telephone reservation service. A reservation charge of $2 per ticket applies for the BODY WORLDS 2 exhibition. Visitors who purchase their tickets by phone must pick them up at the Montréal Science Centre ticket counter on the day of their visit.

In person, at the Montréal Science Centre ticket counter, during the Centre’s hours of operation.
Admission to the BODY WORLDS 2 exhibition, which includes admission to the Montréal Science Centre’s permanent exhibitions, is $25 for adults, $22 for teenagers (ages 13 to 17) and seniors (age 60+), and $14.50 for children (ages 4 to 12). Visitors may also rent a BODY WORLDS 2 audio guide at the entrance to the exhibition. Rentals are $4 for adults and $3 for children and seniors.

Extended hours. During the exhibition, the Montréal Science Centre will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., from Monday to Sunday.

Note: This exhibition is recommended for children aged 10 and over. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.

The Montréal Science Centre opened on May 1, 2000, and is now one of Canada’s major cultural institutions. As part of the Quebec Tourism Awards, the Centre earned the Best Tourist Attraction award in 2001 for its innovative features and the quality of its infrastructures. In 2005 and 2006, the Centre also won the Award of Excellence, given by the Société des musées québécois (Quebec Museum Society), for its Autopsy of a Murder and X-treme Rotation exhibitions. Since the Centre first opened, over 2 million visitors have enjoyed its activities and high-quality educational programming, designed to interest young people in science and technology careers.
The Montréal Science Centre wishes to thank Pfizer and Hydro-Québec, its key sponsors.
Information: 514-496-4724 • 1 877 496-4724 • www.montrealsciencecentre.com
www.bodyworlds.com

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Two Cold War Symbols in New Bond Film

October 27, 2006—This November, anatomist, Gunther von Hagens—one of the most well known defectors from former East Germany—marks the 17th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with the most celebrated of all Cold War era icons, James Bond.

Dr. von Hagens and the mesmerizing BODY WORLDS anatomical exhibition appear in cameo roles in Casino Royale,  the 21st James Bond film, based on Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel of the same name.

BODY WORLDS is the setting for an archetypal battle of good and evil, between Agent 007 and one of the villains of the film. For Dr. von Hagens, who was imprisoned in 1969 for two years after a failed attempt to escape, James Bond films are more than innocuous spy thrillers.

While Bond spent the Cold War fighting Communists, the younger generation behind the Iron Curtain at that time, including Dr. von Hagens, were inspired by him. “He stood for the power of the individual against communism and was anti-authoritarian and unconventional, which I don’t think the film censors realized at the time,” said von Hagens. “The leadership did not understand the thirst of our generation to break boundaries, to be free to travel like James Bond to Jamaica and Cape Canaveral and Fort Knox and Monte Carlo. He was for us the embodiment of freedom and possibilities.”

The technology and wizardry in the early films also made an impression on the future anatomist and polymer chemist. “Bond worked with high technology, very unusual work at that time for a film character. In Goldfinger he was trying to prevent the radioactive contamination of gold reserves. As someone who was deeply interested in chemistry and physics, I knew that unlike the world of James Bond which celebrated such innovations, the authoritarian regime I lived under killed invention,” he said.

Impossible as it seems, a cinematic hero with a complex psychological dossier strengthened the ego and shaped the thinking of a generation of East German scientists.  “He was very hardworking. He was always on duty, lived only for his mission, and used all his abilities to realize his mission.  Those of us who escaped East Germany at that time defined ourselves by our work in science and technology and our drive to succeed at any cost,” said Dr. von Hagens.

BODY WORLDS exhibitions are currently showing at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul, the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachussets and Telus World of Science in Vancouver, Canada.

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The PLASTINARIUM in Guben -Behind the scenes of BODY WORLDS

Guben, Oct 18, 2006—Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS (KÖRPERWELTEN) exhibitions have fascinated more than 20 million visitors worldwide. Now, for the first time Gunther von Hagens will give the general public an inside look at the laboratories, at his new center of activities in Guben – the PLASTINARIUM. The PLASTINARIUM will be the only institute in the world that will allow the public to watch the preparation of permanently preserved, anatomical human and animal specimens, through Plastination. While touring the 2500 sqm of the, renovated site of the former Guben cloth factory, visitors will gain comprehensive insights into the Plastination processes and techniques. The process includes  the anatomical preparation and dissection of bodies and their subsequent conservation via Plastination, skeletal assembly, and vascular casting . Teaching specimens and anatomical full body plastinates to train physicians and non-experts are prepared with state-of-the-art technology. 

A brief outline of the history of anatomy and the development of Plastination at the beginning of the tour and a display of selected teaching specimens near the demonstration labs round off the exciting and instructive tour. Visitors will be able to see bone preparations, vascular casts, body slices, individual organ plastinates as well as whole-body plastinates. Early and historical plastinates will be on display as well as new, whole-body plastinates, showing advancements in the technology. The highlight of the showroom is a recreation of the area in the BODY WORLDS exhibition where the decisive scene of the current James Bond film “Casino Royale” was shot.
Gunther von Hagens: “The PLASTINARIUM is the anatomical cabinet of modern time. It is the culmination of a long European scientific and democratic tradition. In 1543 the surgeon Andreas Vesal established modern anatomy. He published authentic anatomical drawings in his anatomical atlas and staged public dissections, thus popularizing anatomy. In the same year the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus published an essay on cosmology where he proved that the earth orbited around the sun and not the other way round. Since then planetariums have been revealing insights about the creation and structure of cosmic worlds. The PLASTINARIUM in Guben, in turn, reveals insights about the creation and structure of both the body and BODY WORLDS.

Opening times
For the time being the PLASTINARIUM will be open from November 17 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm (last admission). Groups can book a specific date and time outside regular opening times. Additional opening times will be announced on this website: www.plastinarium.de.

Address
PLASTINARIUM - Gubener Plastinate GmbH - Uferstraße - 03172 Guben, Brandenburg, Germany
Phone: 03561-5 4748 60, Fax: 03561-5 47 48 61
info(at)plastinarium.de

Press office Institute für Plastination
Email: hd.pressoffice(at)plastination.com

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INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED BODY WORLDS EXHIBITION TO OFFER MUSEUM OF NATURE & SCIENCE VISITORS AN EXTRAORDINARY VIEW INSIDE THE HUMAN BODY
Pioneering anatomical exhibition featuring real human bodies will open December 9, 2006


Dallas, TX, October 3, 2006—Beginning Saturday, December 9, the Museum of Nature & Science, Dallas, will host the North Texas debut of Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies. Museum of Nature & Science visitors will be able to experience the human body in all its elegance and complexity by viewing real human bodies that have been preserved through a remarkable process called Plastination.

“One of our goals is to illuminate and educate our community about natural and life sciences, and BODY WORLDS is a powerful way to do it,” said Nicole Small, CEO of the Museum of Nature & Science. “I am proud of the Museum’s deep roots in the life sciences and of our efforts to transform ourselves into a science and technology center for the 21st century. This exhibition illustrates that commitment.”

What is BODY WORLDS?
Created by anatomist and licensed physician Dr. Gunther von Hagens, the BODY WORLDS exhibition is the world's first public anatomical presentation using Plastination, Dr. von Hagens’ groundbreaking method of specimen preservation. The display of approximately 200 authentic organs, organ configurations, and a broad collection of whole-body plastinates offers an unprecedented view of the human body. Visitors will be able to observe the body’s functions, including locomotive, digestive, nervous and vascular systems, and compare healthy and diseased organs such as a healthy lung with that of a smoker’s lung.

Approximately 25 whole-body plastinates are fixed in dramatic poses – playing basketball, soccer, pondering a chess move or running – revealing the true-to-life spatial relationships among organs. These dramatic poses inspire wonder and awe in visitors of all ages, allowing them to better understand the interconnectedness of the muscle, organ and vascular systems.

To date, the series of three BODY WORLDS exhibitions have opened to public acclaim in 35 cities across Europe, Asia and North America, drawing nearly 20 million worldwide. Previous North America stops include Los Angeles (attendance: 930,106), Chicago (attendance: 799,394), Philadelphia (attendance: 602,932) and Denver (attendance: 687,022).

BODY WORLDS is the only anatomical exhibition that relies on the generosity of body donors, individuals who willed that, upon their death, their bodies could be used for educational purposes in the exhibition. The specimens on display, excluding a small number of acquisitions from anatomical collections and anatomy programs, stem from a body donation program that was begun in 1983 by Dr. von Hagens. The body donation program is now managed by the Institute for Plastination, established in Heidelberg, Germany, in 1993. Currently, the Institute’s roster is comprised of more than 7,000 donors, including nearly 300 Americans.

The Museum of Nature & Science is in conversations with leaders in the fields of anatomy, medicine, bioethics, education and religion to ensure that BODY WORLDS is presented in a respectful manner in keeping with the Museum’s and the exhibition’s high standards of ethical and scientific integrity.

“I am really impressed with the tremendous responses in every community where the exhibition has been and the overwhelming consensus that it is powerfully educational about the body and its function. I intend to see the exhibition in Dallas,” said Dr. Daniel Foster, Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and a member of the President's Council on Bioethics.

Dr. Rod Rohrich, Professor and Chairman of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern, agreed. “The BODY WORLDS exhibition allows the public to see the beauty, splendor and complexity of the human body in a way only physicians in the past could appreciate,” he said. “It is truly a family educational event.”

BODY WORLDS will be on display from December 9, 2006 through May 28, 2007. Tickets will go on sale in November and visitors will be able to purchase tickets both onsite and online. Tickets to the exhibition will be timed, so before making a purchase, visitors will be asked to select the date and time they plan to visit. Due to the popularity of the exhibition in other cities, the Museum is considering extending its normal hours. The Museum recommends that a parent or adult accompany children under the age of 13, but there is no age requirement.

To augment the exhibition, the Museum is developing a suite of educational programs. Designed for students, teachers, families and adults, these programs will include an array of lectures, forums, gallery interpretations, curricula materials and special events. In addition, the TI Founders IMAX Theater will be showing the film The Human Body, giving visitors a larger-than-life look at the daily biological processes that go on without their control – and often without them even noticing. Using innovative film techniques and the latest medical and scientific imaging, The Human Body will show viewers the ordinary miracles that keep their bodies running from morning until night. Combination tickets for BODY WORLDS, the Museum’s other exhibition galleries, and the IMAX theater will also be available.

About the Museum of Nature & Science
The Museum of Nature & Science, formerly the Dallas Museum of Natural History and The Science Place, is a non-profit educational organization located in Dallas’ Fair Park that delivers exciting, engaging scientific and natural history content through its education, exhibition and general public programming. The facility also includes the Children’s Museum, the TI Founders IMAX Theater and a cutting-edge digital planetarium. Inspiring minds through nature and science, the Museum is a major North Texas destination for students, teachers, families and life-long learners of all ages. The Museum is supported in part by funds from the City of Dallas, Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts. To learn more about the Museum, please visit www.natureandscience.org.
 
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BODY WORLDS 2 COMES TO THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY
Anatomical exhibit of real human specimens opens Jan 2007

Chicago, September 28, 2006—January 2007, Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds 2: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies will open at the Museum of Science and Industry —offering Museum guests another amazing opportunity to investigate the mysteries of human anatomy and physiology. In 2005, Body Worlds captivated almost 800,000 guests during its run at the Museum of Science at Industry, making the Museum the most successful U.S. venue for the anatomical exhibit.

Using the ground-breaking preservation process called plastination, Body Worlds 2—the second of three anatomical exhibitions by licensed physician and anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens—showcases more than 200 real human specimens and more than 20 new full-body plastinates that focus on the locomotive, nervous, respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular and reproductive systems. The exhibit will run through April 29, 2007.

Many of the full-body plastinates are posed in dramatic and athletic positions, helping guests understand how our bodies respond to movement and demonstrating the actual spatial relationships between organs. As well, healthy organ specimens are compared with diseased organs, highlighting the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and natural joint specimens are juxtaposed with artificial joints to reveal the mechanics of the body and the wonders of modern medicine. A fetal development area chronicles the amazing formation of life in the uterus.

“Body Worlds 2 is a compelling and educational exhibit that will enthrall those who have seen the original, as well as those who missed seeing Body Worlds in 2005,” said David Mosena, president and CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry. “The Museum is thrilled to bring back this important opportunity to understand and appreciate the complex workings of the human body.”

Body Worlds is a collaboration between donor, anatomist and visitor. It is the only public anatomical exhibition that relies on the generosity of body donors—individuals who willed that upon their death, their bodies could be used for the education of many. Excluding a small number of specimens from museum anatomical collections and anatomy programs, the plastinates on display stem from a body donation program begun in 1983 by Dr. von Hagens, now managed by the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg.

To ensure an enriching experience for all, children under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a responsible adult, parent, guardian or school chaperone while in Body Worlds 2. The exhibit is not included in general admission and requires a ticket and specified entry time. Tickets to the exhibit, which include Museum general admission, are $23 for adults; $19 for seniors and $13 for children (3-11). City of Chicago residents receive a discount on general admission. Advance tickets will go on sale online at www.msichicago.org by Oct. 2, 2006. Groups of 20 or more are eligible for a discount when they book in advance.

The Museum of Science and Industry's mission is to inspire the inventive genius in everyone by presenting captivating and compelling experiences that are real and educational. Located at 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive, the Museum is open every day of the year except December 25. Regular Museum hours are 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday. Extended hours, until 5:30 each day, are offered during peak times of year. General admission pricing is $11 for adults, $9.50 for seniors and $7 for children ages 3 to 11. City of Chicago residents receive a discount on general admission. The Museum offers indoor parking and is accessible by CTA and Metra. The Museum is supported in part through the generosity of the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District. For more information, visit the Museum's Web site at www.msichicago.org or call (773) 684-1414 or (800) GO-TO-MSI outside of the Chicago area.

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Dr. Gunther von Hagens Sets Record Straight On "Crucifixion TV Show" Rumor

HEIDELBERG, September 22, 2006—The Evening Standard, UK surely hastens the demise of journalism as the purveyor of substantiated information, when it allows reporter, Bo Wilson to declare so boldly that Channel 4  “will broadcast a documentary showing a human corpse being hung on a cross to depict Christ's suffering,” and that anatomist, Dr. Gunther von Hagens “will use a real body to show how people died when crucified in the 90-minute film.” (BODY WORLDS Creator Uses Corpse For Crucifixion, Arts & Exhibitions News, September 21.)

The Institute for Plastination receives more than fifty queries each year from documentary and filmmakers proposing interesting collaborations and forums for Dr. von Hagens to promote health education, public anatomy, and body donation. A few are in harmony with Dr. von Hagens’ mission, some are reality show concepts that have only a tenuous link to his work, and still others are thinly veiled attempts to exploit and benefit from the BODY WORLDS phenomena and the celebrity of its colorful and controversial founder.

Though Dr. von Hagens declines to participate in nearly all the proposals sent his way, he enjoys engaging in intellectual discourse with the creative protagonists of these ventures.  Such was the nature of his discussions with Nick Curwin, producer of Firefly Films and a collaborator on several previous projects.

As an anatomist inspired by the Renaissance, Dr. von Hagens is fascinated by the curious alliance between the Church and anatomists from the 1500s, and interested in expanding the boundaries of discussion about anatomy.  Thus, he welcomed the lively exchange with Mr. Curwin about anatomy, anatomists, religion, death, God, and most interestingly, crucifixion’s place in history and anatomy, and the crucifixion experiments of Pierre Barbet and Frederick Zugibe.

What followed was an extended hypothetical discussion about a hypothetical program showing the most common method of execution practiced by the Romans, which, according to historical records, claimed the lives of as many as 2000 people a day. While Dr. von Hagens enjoyed the sparkling dialogue and banter about the filmic possibilities of such an endeavor, he did not at any time agree to participate in staging a re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, nor is he planning to do so in the future.  

For more information on this statement, please contact:
Gail Vida Hamburg
Director of Communications
Institute for Plastination
Rathausstrasse 11, 69126 Heidelberg, Germany
pressoffice(at)plastination.com
Tel: 312 602 5369

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BODY WORLDS Response to Tyler Bleau opinion, "Anatomy on display is entertainment, not education"
(The Daily Iowan, August 30)

August 31, 2006—While it is acceptable for an opinion writer to select facts that best serve his opinion, Tyler Bleau's use of incorrect information to augment his -- "Anantomy on display is entertainment, not education," (Opinions, 8/30/06) -- breaks faith with journalistic principles The Daily Iowan ought to hold dear.

In referring to Gunther von Hagen's BODY WORLDS exhibitions, Bleau states that "German magazine Der Spiegel found some of the exhibition's bodies belonged to executed Chinese prisoners."  The magazine did not "find some of the exhibition's bodies belonged to executed Chinese prisoners," as Bleau writes, but rather printed a falsehood, which the highest court in Germany later determined to be so injurious that it ruled in favor of Dr. Gunther von Hagens--the magazine legally bound to pay a penalty of 250,000 euro if it perpetuated the falsehood.

To compound his flawed reporting, Bleau writes, "Since then, von Hagens only gets his corpses from consenting individuals in former Soviet-bloc countries - although their "consent" and origin are usually impossible to verify because of his policy of keeping the donors anonymous, ostensibly out of respect for the dead." In fact, with the exception of a few dissected small specimens acquired from established morphological and anatomical programs, and fetuses which came from historical collections pre-dating 1940, all the plastinated specimens in our exhibitions originate from a body donation program founded in 1982 by Dr. von Hagens, and managed by the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany since 1993.  The current donor roster has 6,800 living donors, most of them German, 208 of them North Americans; the deceased donors number  350,The Ethics Review of the origins of bodies in Body Worlds -- conducted by the California Science Center, Los Angeles and the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago -- is available for download on our website http://www.bodyworlds.com/en/media/press_kit.html Regarding the anonymity of donors, we are acutely sensitive to the fact that they willed only their post mortal bodies for the education of many -- not their personal lives, case histories, or any other aspect of their earthly lives -- and will not violate the code of medical confidentiality to satisfy the curiosity of reporters.

Gail Vida Hamburg
Communications Director (USA)
for Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS
and Media Liaison for Dr. Gunther von Hagens

For editorial contact only:
Tel: 312 602 5369
Email: g.hamburg(at)plastination.com

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Response to Darren Garnick's, "Where are the protestors at 'Body Worlds?"
(Boston Herald, ‘Working Stiff’, August 16)

Boston, August 20, 2006—Darren Garnick's column, "Where are the protestors at 'Body Worlds?" (Working Stiff, Boston Herald Aug 16) is full of outrage and vitriol. However, even a small injection of facts, context, and perspective would have rescued it from the domain of blather.

Garnick writes, "Von Hagens’ factory in Dalian, China’s third largest port, reportedly employs 260 medical school grads to work the “Body Worlds” assembly line. Factory workers get $200-$400 a month to peel skin, scrape fat off muscle and replace bodily fluids with soft plastic. Based on a presumed 40-hour work week, that comes to $1.25 to $2.50 an hour ..."  

According to the Dalian China Authority (www.dl.gov.cn) and The China Daily (www.chinadaily.com.cn), the average annual salary for white collar workers in Dalian, China is 39,889 yuan (US$4,986).  People in the financial sector, the highest paid group among all local white-collar workers in Dalian, earn an average 73,024 yuan (US$9,128).  In addition to base salaries ranging from 28,737 yuan (US$3,600) to 57,475 yuan (US$7,200), the employees at Dr. von Hagens plastination laboratory can participate in a full package of benefits including subsidized rental housing or assistance with home ownership, subsidized meals, and full insurance coverage. The salaries, though low by American standards, exceed salaries for similarly employed Dalian workers and compare favorably with salaries in the financial sector.Apropos of nothing to do with Body Worlds or Dr. von Hagens, Garnick writes, "The Times raises the question of whether Von Hagens’ former factory manager may have used “unclaimed bodies” from the morgue when he first set up shop in 1999." "Former" is the operative word in the quote, and it has already been widely reported that the individual in question signed a lucrative deal to provide unclaimed and found bodies to Atlanta-based publicly traded company, Premier Exhibitions. As for Body Worlds, with the exception of a few dissected small specimens acquired from established morphological and anatomical programs, and fetuses which came from historical museum collections pre-dating 1940, all the plastinated specimens in our exhibitions originate from a body donation program founded in 1982 by Dr. von Hagens, and managed by the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany since 1993.Garnick is not the first reporter to take issue with the anonymity of the donors. "We’re not told if the face ... staring at us was once a shipbuilder in Gdansk, a dissident college professor in Shanghai or a little old lady from Pasadena," he writes. However, the Institute for Plastination is bound by the code of medical confidentiality, and acutely sensitive to the fact that the donors willed only their post-mortal bodies for the education of many -- not their personal lives, case histories, or any other aspect of their earthly lives. Garnick's implication that it is wrong for anatomist, Dr. Gunther von Hagens (a "mad scientist," in his view) to focus on anatomy and public health education, instead of say, turning Body Worlds into a belated public funeral service or reality show where people can "wrestle with emotional, moral issues," as he suggests, is not merely anti-science, but asinine. Garnick may passionately believe that two plus two equals rhinoceros, however, we are confident that the people of Boston, whom Garnick shows contempt for -- "Ms. Davis Square Hippie Chick with the “Bread Not Bombs” pin on your backpack and the Che Guevara earrings," "Mr. Surly Harvard Square Coffee Shop Guy with the “Rage Against the Machine” T-shirt," and "Mr. Newton City Alderman with the “Save Darfur” sticker on your Volvo SUV," -- are discerning enough not to draw all the wrong conclusions from anecdotal, false, and irrelevant information.

Gail Vida Hamburg
Director of Communications
Institute for Plastination
Rathausstrasse 11
69126 Heidelberg, Germany

Communications Director (USA)
for Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS
and Media Liaison for Dr. Gunther von Hagens

For editorial contact only:
Tel: 312 602 5369
Email: g.hamburg(at)plastination.com

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Response to Neda Ulaby’s  “Cadaver Exhibits” Articles
(NPR, “All Things Considered”, Aug 11-12)

Heidelberg, Germany, August 16, 2006—Budding reporters wishing to learn the anatomy of media bias need look no further than Neda Ulaby’s series on public anatomical exhibitions or “cadaver shows,” as she insists on calling them.  In her broadcasts and Reporter’s Notebook (NPR, All Things Considered, Aug 11-12) she plays fast and loose with principles of journalism, such as the discipline of verification and the identification of sources.

In “Origins of Exhibited Cadavers Questioned,” where the lone voice questioning the origins of the specimens in Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS is Ulaby herself, she states that though the donor death certificates have been matched with donor forms by renowned ethicist, Dr. Hans Martin Sass, “there’s no clear paper trail from willing donors to exhibited bodies.” On the contrary, there is a very clear paper trail between deceased donors and plastinated specimens that falls within the bounds of medical confidentiality. The Institute for Plastination has made as much donor information as possible available to museum lawyers and bio-ethicists, without violating the code of medical confidentiality. We will reveal the same information willingly to any legitimate government authority with jurisdiction in Germany that also honors medical confidentiality. “[Dr. von Hagens] says each body he displays can be accounted for, but he is unwilling to make public a complete paper trail,” Ulaby reports.  Her objection appears to be that the Institute for Plastination does not release confidential medical information to the media. We have learned from the past about reporters’ lack of discernment about matters of privacy. Before Dr. von Hagens conducted a public autopsy in London, the relatives of the deceased man, whose body was to be autopsied, reassured journalists that their father had agreed to the procedure but asked that his name be withheld. Several of the reporters broke their agreement and revealed the man’s identity. We learned too from the case of Paul Jernigan, the death penalty inmate who was executed in Texas, and his body used for the "Visible Human Project." Many journalists stalked Jernigan’s family to get their stories, without any regard for the family’s grief.  We are acutely sensitive to the fact that the donors willed only their post mortal bodies for the education of many—not their personal lives, case histories, or any other aspect of their earthly lives—and will not violate the code of medical confidentiality to satisfy reporters’ curiosity.

Ulaby, as prosecutor, decides that Dr. von Hagens -- an anatomist who invented Plastination in 1977 at the University of Heidelberg to improve medical education for his students -- is guilty of using executed Chinese prisoners in the BODY WORLDS exhibitions until he proves himself innocent. “He says that he obtains them all only through trusted sources, but no outsider has verified that they might not be, in a worst case scenario, dissidents killed in a Chinese prison, then sold through a body broker to a medical school, and then displayed to the public,” she reports. The onus apparently is on  Dr. von Hagens -- the only anatomist presenting an anatomical exhibition, the only presenter of anatomical exhibitions with a body donation program of more than 6,800 donors, nearly all of them European -- to prove that the specimens in his exhibitions “might not be, in a worst case scenario, dissidents killed in a Chinese prison, then sold through a body broker to a medical school, and then displayed to the public.” Ulaby has no problem, however, with copycat exhibits that use only unclaimed and found bodies from China, have no donor programs, and do not have a paper trail, let alone documents. “Critics say that at best those bodies probably belonged to people too poor to have been buried properly.” In other words, Dr. Gunther von Hagens, a 33 year career anatomist with an established donor program of mostly German donors, must prove that he does not use executed Chinese prisoners in his exhibit, while publicly traded exhibition companies that use only unclaimed and found Chinese bodies are exempt from Ulaby’s suspicions. This is not simply journalistic bias, it smacks of bigotry.

Currently, there is no national or international law or ethical imperative of informed consent for anatomical specimens. In fact, the majority of anatomical specimens in the world originate from unclaimed bodies. In Maryland, for example, any unclaimed body is by law handed over to the State Anatomical Board, embalmed and distributed for a fee to anatomical institutes around the country. Even in Great Britain under the supervision of Her Majesty’s Inspector of Anatomy (presently Dr. Jeremy Metters), human plastinates are not tracked. Skeletons are sold freely in all countries and are even available via the Internet. Compared to plastinates, these skeletons consist of 100 percent human tissue (plastinates are around 30 percent) and there is no international standard of informed consent. Dr. Gunther von Hagens conceived the world’s first and only body donation program for Plastination to uphold no one else’s standards but his own.

For more information:www.bodyworlds.com

For ethics report:
http://www.koerperwelten.de/Downloads/ethics_summary.pdf

Gail Vida Hamburg
Director of Communications
Institute for Plastination
Heidelberg, Germany
Communications Director (USA)
for Gunther von Hagens'BODY WORLDS
email: hd.pressoffice(at)plastination.com

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The Arizona Science Center announces the debut of Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS 3: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies, whole-body plastinates, at the Center opening Friday, January 26, 2007.

Phoenix, July 10, 2006—Created by Dr. Gunther von Hagens, BODY WORLDS 3 is the culmination of the German scientist and physician’s 30-year career in anatomy.  Like its predecessors, BODY WORLDS 3 presents more than 200 authentic specimens, including organs and whole body specimens, that have undergone Plastination—von Hagens’ groundbreaking method of halting decomposition and preserving the body after death for medical study, which he invented in 1977.  But von Hagens says the Phoenix exhibit captures the evolution and refinement of his invention to its outer limits.

“Visitors to BODY WORLDS 3 will encounter both the resilience and fragility of the human body.  They will discover how a body works when it is healthy and how it breaks down when it is not,” said Chevy Humphrey, president and CEO of the Arizona Science Center. “The aesthetic, accessible displays invite contemplation, study and reflection of the power and vulnerability of the human body by everyone.”

During Plastination, all bodily fluids and soluble fats are replaced with reactive resins and elastomers such as silicon rubber and epoxy, through vacuum-forced impregnation. After gas, heat, or light curing, the specimens assume rigidity and permanence. “The purpose of Plastination from its very inception was a scientific one, to educate medical students,” said Dr. Gunther von Hagens, creator of BODY WORLDS.  “But the interest that laypeople had in the plastinated specimens inspired me to think of creating public exhibitions, which was followed by the realization that I had to offer a heightened sense of aesthetics, to avoid shocking the public and to capture their imagination.”

The striking whole-body plastinates in BODY WORLDS 3—people who in their lifetime donated their bodies for Plastination for the express purpose of educating future generations about health—allow viewers to see inside the staggeringly complex and completely interconnected network of muscles, tendons and blood vessels that make up our bodies.

“The BODY WORLDS 3 exhibition provides the Arizona Science Center an opportunity to enhance the Center’s outstanding educational programs and enrich people’s understanding  of their bodies,” said Laura Martin, Ph.D., director of Science Interpretation at the Arizona Science Center. “The Arizona Science Center has exercised due diligence by informing sectors of the Phoenix community about the nature and content of the BODY WORLDS 3 exhibition.  There has been a good faith effort to reach out to the diverse communities of the Phoenix metro area, to listen to their concerns, and to take advice about the effects this exhibition may have on the population.”

BODY WORLDS 3 is a collaboration, a joint quest towards enlightenment between donor, anatomist and visitor.  Nearly 20 million visitors in 35 cities across Asia, Europe, and North America have engaged in the pact since its debut in Japan in 1996, and more than 6800 donors including 208 Americans have bequeathed their bodies to von Hagens’ Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany.

Tickets for the BODY WORLDS 3 exhibition at the Arizona Science Center will go on sale to the general public in November 2006.  For more information about the exhibition, Plastination or body donation, visit http://www.bodyworlds.com/en/bodydonation/body_donation_program.html

About the Arizona Science Center
The Arizona Science Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to informal science education.  The Center, located at 600 E. Washington St. in downtown Phoenix, features more than 300 hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations, a state-of-the-art planetarium and a giant-screen theater. For more information please call 602-716-2000 or log on to www.azscience.org.   

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Science World to bring Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS 3: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies to TELUS World of Science from September 15, 2006 to January 14, 2007

VANCOUVER, BC. June 13, 2006—Science World announced today that visitors to TELUS World of Science will experience the human body in all its elegance and complexity starting September 15, 2006, when Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS 3:The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies opens for the first time in the Pacific Northwest. Featuring approximately 200 specimens, this world-renowned exhibition offers an unprecedented opportunity for visitors to learn about anatomy, physiology and health by viewing real human bodies that have been preserved through the process of Plastination.

Created by German anatomist and inventor Dr. Gunther von Hagens, BODY WORLDS 3 invites visitors to observe the body’s various locomotive, digestive, nervous and vascular systems, and compare healthy and diseased organs, such as the lungs of a smoker and non-smoker. Most remarkable are the whole-body specimens, or plastinates, fixed in dramatic and athletic poses that reveal the true-to-life spatial relationships among organs.

Plastination replaces a specimen’s natural fluids with reactive liquid plastics that harden when cured with gas, light, or heat. Before hardening the plastic in the specimens, the plastinates are fixed into lifelike poses, showing how our bodies respond to everyday movements and activities. Plastination provides the flexibility and strength needed to display and preserve the specimens in their true-to-life form, without the use of glass barriers and formaldehyde.

“BODY WORLDS 3 provides Science World an extraordinary chance to further our goal of engaging people of all ages with an accessible, innovative and creative approach to science,” says Bryan Tisdall, President & CEO, Science World. “This first-of-its-kind exhibition has enthralled audiences around the world, and we are sure that visitors to TELUS World of Science will be no less inspired by this incredible look at the human body.”

The third of Dr. von Hagens’ public anatomical exhibitions, BODY WORLDS 3 has an immediacy and visual impact that accounts for the popularity of the exhibition—approximately 20 million people worldwide have experienced BODY WORLDS firsthand. At its core, the exhibition is about a heightened awareness of the body that, until now, has been reserved for medical professionals.

“Science World believes that by creating a greater understanding of the human body and the ways it is impacted by different lifestyles, our visitors will be motivated to make healthier choices in life,” says Tisdall.

BODY WORLDS is the only anatomical exhibition that relies on the generosity of body donors, individuals who bequeathed that, upon their death, their bodies could be used for educational purposes in the exhibition. The full-body plastinates that will be on display come from the BODY WORLDS donation program that was established in 1982 at the Institute for Plastination and currently has more than 6,800 registered donors.

During the run of the exhibition, TELUS World of Science will open from 10am-6pm daily. BODY WORLDS 3 will remain open until 9pm on Thursday through Saturday.

Potential visitors are encouraged to check www.telusworldofscience.com/vancouver for pricing and more information over the coming months.

About BODY WORLDS
Created by Dr. Gunther von Hagens, BODY WORLDS 3 is the culmination of the German scientist and physician’s 30-year career in anatomy. Like its predecessors, BODY WORLDS 3 presents more than 200 authentic specimens, including organs and whole body specimens, that have undergone Plastination—von Hagens’ groundbreaking method of halting decomposition and preserving the body after death for medical study, which he invented in 1977.

About Science World
Science World, a self-supporting non-profit organization, stimulates positive attitudes towards science and technology in a fun interactive environment, promoting the development of a knowledge-based society in BC.

For further information contact:
Gail Vida Hamburg
Media & Public Liaison
for BODY WORLDS & Dr. Gunther von Hagens
Phone: 312-602-5369
Fax: 773-761-4078
E-mail: g.hamburg(at)plastination.com

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Anatomist, Dr. Gunther von Hagens named a Modern-Day Leonardo da Vinci

Chicago—Anatomist, Dr. Gunther von Hagens, Inventor of Plastination, the Groundbreaking method of anatomical specimen preservation, and creator of BODY WORLDS The Anatomical Exhibitions of Real Human Bodies is presented as one of 40 Modern-Day Leonardos in Leonardo da Vinci: Man Inventor Genius, now showing at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

A joint collaboration of da Vinci scholars and museums in the United States and Italy, the exhibition shows the stunning breadth of Leonardo da Vinci's inventive genius in the arts, architecture, oceanography, and aerodynamics, as well as his technical innovations in optics and theater, and engineering feats such as irrigation, warfare, and automation of machines.

The original Renaissance man has inspired generations of scientists and inventors after him including Dr. Gunther von Hagens. "He is for me and for so many scientists, a spiritual father. His way of looking at the world and everything in it, allowed him to ponder the unseen and bring it to life refracted through his own imagination," said Dr. von Hagens, who has referenced several of da Vinci's anatomical drawings in the BODY WORLDS exhibitions and strives for the heightened aesthetics of the Master.

da Vinci who was reputedly fearless in his quest for knowledge and his pursuit of truth resonates with von Hagens whose towering achievement in anatomical science-halting decomposition of the body after death and endowing it with a post-mortal identity-has drawn scientific acclaim, public praise, and media controversy. "I consider Leonardo da Vinci a source of unending inspiration in my life and am both proud and humbled to join my 39 fellow scientists, artists, and inventors as a modern day Leonardo," said Dr. von Hagens.

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In response to the article "The Amazing (freak show) human body exhibition":

Dear Editors,
Your blogger, Simon Willace's post, "The Amazing (freak show) human body exhibition" violates your expressed editorial aim and objective "to preserve the quality of the website as a useful, and credible media source." In a shoddy bit of "cut and paste" and mindless typing that masquerades as journalism, Willace draws a nonexistent association between "The Amazing Human Body," a cadaver show from China currently touring your country, and German anatomist, Dr. Gunther von Hagens.

Among the falsehoods he disseminates via your "useful and credible media source," are the following:

  1. Body works’, ‘Body World’ and ‘The Amazing human body’ Exhibitions now touring in Australia are trading names owned or associated with Dr. Gunther von Hagen’. An East German whose chequered career has included long terms spent behind bars himself.

  2. The company uses many names throughout the world to promote the displays created in Dalain and issues licences to so called 'copycat operators' like TAHB, but all exhibits are created in Von Hagan’s Chinese factories and are exhibited under licences offered only through him.

  3. Hagen now living in China is the inventor of the plastication process Registered trademark all rights reserved and holds copyright, he retains sole control over the process. He has always vigorously denied using executed prisoners for his touring freak shows and has insisted that each one has been donated.

  4. The bodies in all exhibitions are disproportionately young males. In China, the most likely source for large numbers of young male bodies would be prisons or labour camps.


While Willace may believe that truth is merely an exotic concept, I hope that the editors of Perth Indy Media will care about its absence in this blogger's "reporting."

Dr. von Hagens is not now, and has never been affiliated or associated with any anatomical exhibition other than those that bear his own name—Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS, currently showing in North America.

Dr. von Hagens was indeed in prison, not for criminal activity as Willace implies, but for attempting to defect from Communism. He was imprisoned by East German authorities in 1968 for attempting to cross the Czechoslovakian border into Austria and freedom.

In 1981, Dr. von Hagens filed a patent with the United States Patent Office for a 20 year patent for his invention, the Plastination process. The patent for “Animal and Vegetal Tissues Permanently Preserved by Synthetic Resin Impregnation," expired in 2001, when Dr. von Hagens no longer held proprietary privileges over his invention.

Outside of a small number of dissected specimens and fetuses acquired from established morphological institutes, such as anatomy and pathology programs, and historical anatomical collections, all the specimens on display in Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS exhibitions stem from a unique Body Donation Program established in Heidelberg, Germany in 1982. Later managed by the Institute for Plastination (IfP) established in 1993, the Body Donation Program is the primary source of the specimens—bodies willed by donors during their lifetime for the express purpose of serving BODY WORLDS mission to educate the public about health and anatomy.

While other exhibits have revealed that they use unclaimed and found bodies originating from China, Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS has never needed to seek bodies from China or anywhere else for its exhibitions. Indeed, there are no Chinese plastinated bodies in Dr. von Hagens’ exhibitions. Currently, the Institute for Plastination has a donor roster of 6,800 individuals, which includes 208 North Americans. The already deceased on the IfP's donor roster number 350. In addition, the Chinese authorities stringently supervise the import and export of anatomical specimens of human origin from China, by Dr. Gunther von Hagens. Dr. von Hagens is bound by current regulations to export only anatomical specimens that originate from the Institute for Plastination’s Body Donation Program in Heidelberg, Germany.

All IfP documents relating to donated bodies have been scrutinized and approved by two ethics committees formed by the California Science Center in Los Angeles and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, where BODY WORLDS exhibitions took place in 2005. Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS declares categorically that it has never used bodies of executed Chinese prisoners, in its anatomical exhibitions of real human bodies. After DER SPIEGEL, a German publication, reported the use of executed Chinese bodies in the BODY WORLDS exhibition, an interim injunction was taken against the SPIEGEL Online GmbH. In accordance with Germany’s laws, the SPIEGEL Online GmbH is now restricted from claiming, among other things, either literally or by implication, that “Gunther von Hagens is exhibiting the corpses of executed Chinese prisoners in the BODY WORLDS exhibition.” According to the court, if the interim injunction is violated, the SPIEGEL Online GmbH, must pay Dr. von Hagens a fine of 250,000 Euros.“I have never plastinated the bodies of executed persons, for, based on my ethical convictions, I disapprove of using such bodies for anatomical purposes,” Dr. von Hagens says.

Although the allegations were investigated and discovered to be unfounded by the highest court in Germany, these false and malicious statements continue to be circulated and disseminated by illegitimate reporters via the Internet, such as your blogger, Simon Willace, and often reported as fact by mainstream media. Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS has won interim injunctions in Germany against North German Radio, NDR and German TV Station, ZDF, and written agreements from T-Online and Suddeutsche Zeitung to prevent further dissemination of these false and malicious statements. Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS will continue to exercise its legal authority by suing for defamation, libel, and slander any individual or news organization that continues to publish or broadcast these false and malicious statements about Dr. Gunther von Hagens and BODY WORLDS.

It is a shame that any imbecile with a computer may strike a pose as a reporter and post online whatever he conjures up. The greater shame would be if a feisty independent media with noble editorial aims fell for his trickery and incompetence.

Gail Vida Hamburg
Media & Public Liaison for Dr. Gunther von Hagens & BODY WORLDS

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Statement on Wrongful Allegations and False Reports by Media on the Origin of Bodies in BODY WORLDS Exhibitions

April 3, 2006—With several anatomical exhibits, similarly titled and derivative of Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS, that have shown around the world - “Bodies, The Exhibition,” “Body Exploration,” “Bodies Revealed,” “Mysteries of the Human Body,” and “The Universe Within,”- there has been confusion among the media and the public about the origin of the bodies used in Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS exhibitions. It is important to note that Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS is not affiliated with any of the above exhibits. Though Dr. Gunther von Hagens' Plastination invention that makes anatomical display possible has been used by the above exhibits, Dr. von Hagens is not affiliated with any of the other exhibits that use his invention and methods, and have, in some cases, copied the unique expressive character of many of his distinctive plastinate specimens.

Recent media reports have wrongfully stated that Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS uses the bodies of executed Chinese prisoners in the BODY WORLDS exhibitions. Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS refutes the statement in its entirety, as it is factually incorrect. Exclusive of a small number of dissected specimens and fetuses acquired from established morphological institutes, such as anatomy and pathology programs, and historical anatomical collections, all the specimens on display in Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS exhibitions stem from a unique Body Donation Program established in Heidelberg, Germany in 1982. Later managed by the Institute for Plastination (IFP) established in 1993, the Body Donation Program is the primary source of the specimens-bodies willed by donors during their lifetime for the express purpose of serving BODY WORLDS mission to educate the public about health and anatomy.

While other exhibits have revealed that they use unclaimed and found bodies originating from China, Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS has never needed to seek bodies from China or anywhere else for its exhibitions. Indeed, there are no Chinese plastinated bodies in Dr. von Hagens' exhibitions. Currently, the Institute for Plastination has a donor roster of 6,800 individuals, which includes 208 North Americans. The already deceased on the IFP's donor roster number 350. In addition, the Chinese authorities stringently supervise the import and export of anatomical specimens of human origin from China, by Dr. Gunther von Hagens. Dr. von Hagens is bound by current regulations to export only anatomical specimens that originate from the Institute for Plastination's Body Donation Program in Heidelberg, Germany.

All IFP documents relating to donated bodies have been scrutinized and approved by two ethics committees formed by the California Science Center in Los Angeles and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, where BODY WORLDS exhibitions took place in 2005. Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS declares categorically that it has never used bodies of executed Chinese prisoners, in its anatomical exhibitions of real human bodies. After the SPIEGEL Online GmbH, a German online news service, reported the use of executed Chinese bodies in the BODY WORLDS exhibition, an interim injunction was taken against it. In accordance with Germany's laws, the SPIEGEL Online GmbH is now restricted from claiming, either literally or by implication, that "Gunther von Hagens is exhibiting the corpses of executed Chinese prisoners in the BODY WORLDS exhibition." According to the court, if the interim injunction is violated, the SPIEGEL Online GmbH must pay Dr. von Hagens a fine of 250,000 Euros. "I have never plastinated the bodies of executed persons, for, based on my ethical convictions, I disapprove of using such bodies for anatomical purposes," Dr. von Hagens says.

Although the allegations were investigated and discovered to be unfounded by a court in Germany, these false and malicious statements continue to be circulated and disseminated by illegitimate news sources via the Internet, and often reported as fact by mainstream media. Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS has won interim injunctions in Germany against North German Radio, NDR and German TV Station, ZDF, and written agreements from T-Online and Suddeutsche Zeitung to prevent further dissemination of these false and malicious statements. Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS will continue to exercise its legal authority by suing for defamation, libel, and slander any individual or news organization that continues to publish or broadcast these false and malicious statements about Dr. Gunther von Hagens and BODY WORLDS.

Gunther von Hagens
April 3, 2006

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Museum of Science to bring Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS 2: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies to Boston in July 2006

Boston, March 27, 2006—The Museum of Science announced today that on July 30, 2006, it will open the internationally renowned exhibition, Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS 2: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies. Featuring more than 200 authentic organs and more than 20 whole-body plastinates, the exhibition offers an unprecedented view of the human body in all its complexity, while also conveying its extraordinary beauty and design.

The second of Dr. von Hagens’ three public anatomical exhibitions, BODY WORLDS 2 invites visitors to observe the body’s various locomotive, digestive, nervous, and vascular systems, and compare healthy and diseased organs, such as the lungs of a smoker and non-smoker. The exhibition explores health science, anatomy, and physiology through the study of real human bodies that have been preserved through Plastination, Dr. von Hagens' groundbreaking method of preserving the body for anatomical study. Most remarkable are the whole-body specimens or plastinates fixed in dramatic and athletic poses that reveal the true-to-life spatial relationships among organs.

"We’re pleased to provide our visitors with a truly unique and deeply educational exhibit experience like BODY WORLDS 2," said Museum President and Director Ioannis Miaoulis. "This exhibit complements the life sciences programs that have always been an important part of the Museum’s mission to engage visitors in science and technology learning. We hope the exhibit sparks thoughtful conversations about what it means to be human and inspires visitors to learn more about the life sciences."

Seen by more than 18 million people in 32 cities across Europe, Asia, and North America, the BODY WORLDS exhibitions have taken their creator, Dr. Gunther von Hagens, far from the University of Heidelberg’s Department of Anatomy and Pathology. There in 1977, to improve the quality of teaching specimens, he pioneered Plastination. "The purpose of Plastination was to improve medical instruction. But the interest of lay people in the plastinated specimens inspired me to think of creating public exhibitions. I realized, however, that to capture the public’s imagination, I had to offer a heightened sense of aesthetics," said Dr. von Hagens.
"The human body is amazingly complex with intricacies that most people outside of the medical community don’t get to see in great detail," said Ellen Zane, President and CEO of Tufts-New England Medical Center. "This exhibit offers a rare opportunity for everyone to view first-hand what the human body looks like on the inside, to gain a new appreciation of their own bodies, and perhaps consider the effects of individual health and lifestyle choices."

Museum of Science educators will be on-hand in the BODY WORLDS 2 exhibit to provide information and to engage visitors further in discussions about the human body. The Museum will also develop programs including lectures, forums, and special events that delve into life science topics. "The exhibition inspires awe at the elegance of the human body," remarked Paul Fontaine, the Museum’s Associate Vice President of Visitor Programs. "It provides a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with our region’s leaders in medicine, research, biotechnology, and education to create exciting programs that will enhance our visitors’ experience."

Additional Museum of Science offerings that will complement BODY WORLDS 2 include the permanent exhibits, Human Body Connection and How Your Life Began; temporary exhibit, Beyond the X-ray; and the large-format films, The Human Body and Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France showing in the Mugar Omni Theater. In February 2007, the Museum will host the temporary exhibit, Charles Darwin currently at
the American Museum of Natural History in New York and in the summer of 2007, will open the temporary exhibit, Jane Goodall.

The BODY WORLDS exhibits on the United States tour have stopped in Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Denver, Houston and Cleveland. The BODY WORLDS 2 exhibition will be at the Museum of Science, Boston from July 30, 2006, through January 7, 2007.

Admission to the Exhibit

Tickets for General Public, on sale June 15.
Daytime admission to BODY WORLDS 2 will be by timed ticket: $24 adults; $21 seniors (60+) and students with valid student ID; and $18 children (3-11). Daytime ticket includes a voucher for the Exhibit Halls usable on the same day or within six months of viewing the exhibition.

Special evening BODY WORLDS 2 only pricing will be available starting at 5:15 p.m. Evening rates do not apply to Fridays: $16 for all ages. Advance ticket reservations are recommended. For more information on the exhibition, updates on complementary programming, or to reserve tickets, visit www.mos.org or call 617/723-2500, 617/589-0417 (TTY).
Tickets for Museum Members, on sale June 1.
Members of the Museum of Science can purchase tickets for the exhibition at a special rate of $11 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $7.50 for children. For more information on how to become a Museum of Science Member, call 617/589-0180 or visit www.mos.org.

Tickets for School Groups, on sale June 1.
Special pricing for school field trips to BODY WORLDS 2 is $10 per student, includes general Exhibit Halls admission. To plan a field trip and for information on exhibits and programs connecting to school curricula, visit www.mos.org or call 617/723-2500, 617/589-0417 (TTY).

Audio guides in English and Spanish are also available at $4 for adults, seniors and students; $3 for children and members; and $2 for school groups.

Museum of Science, Boston
One of the world’s largest science centers, the Museum of Science attracts visitors through its vibrant programs and over 550 interactive exhibits. The Museum was founded in 1830 and was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Thomson Theater of Electricity, home of the world’s largest air-insulated Van de Graaff generator; the Charles Hayden Planetarium; the Mugar Omni Theater, a 180-degree domed theater; and the Current Science & Technology Center (CS&T), which offers breaking news stories to the public with interpretation by Museum staff. In 2004, the Museum launched the National Center for Technological Literacy (NCTL)—its mission is to integrate engineering as a new discipline in schools nationwide and to inspire the next generation of engineers and innovators. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. For additional information, visit www.mos.org.

BODY WORLDS 2: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies
Dr. Gunther von Hagens invented Plastination in 1977 at the University of Heidelberg to preserve human bodies for medical education. Plastination provides the flexibility and strength needed to display and preserve specimens in realistic forms, without the use of glass barriers and formaldehyde. Dr. von Hagens founded the Institute for Plastination in 1993, with the aim to offer plastinated specimens for educational use and for the BODY WORLDS exhibitions. All anatomical specimens on display in the BODY WORLDS exhibitions are authentic. The bodies were generously donated for plastination purposes through a declaration of will directly from the individuals involved who bequeathed their bodies to be used for educational purposes in this exhibition.

Note to Editors:
Images are available to download from the BODY WORLDS press picture database at www.bodyworlds.com. A user agreement form must be completed and faxed to 617/589-0454 in order to receive a user name and password for access to the database.

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Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS Anatomical Exhibitions Raising Health Awareness in America

Denver, March 10, 2006—At a time when the Office of the Surgeon General has declared disease prevention and improving health literacy important public health priorities, anatomist and physician Dr. Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS anatomical exhibitions have driven the health message home to nearly three million Americans in Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Toronto and Houston.

BODY WORLDS' long meditation on the human body compels thoughtful viewers to see that life is fleeting, and that the body though resilient is vulnerable to what we do it. No smoker completing a tour of the exhibit will light a cigarette again without envisioning the black lungs of real smokers, now dead, on display next to the healthy pink lungs of non-smokers. "I knew the effects of smoking but I wasn't motivated to give it up until I saw the black lung," said John Tyrell, who has not lit a cigarette since he saw the exhibition in Los Angeles. In the display, "Suicide by Fat: Obesity Revealed," vertical slabs of a 300-pound man who died at age 50, show thick layers of whitish fat, not unlike the marbling on bacon, around distressed-looking organs. Similar slices of a 120-pound man with thinner fat layers and pinker organs are displayed at the same station. The display left its mark on Dana Morrisey, a 22-year-old college student who said her weight was out of control. "It was a case of reality bites. When I saw the obesity specimen, I knew what I would end up like if I didn't make some changes," said Morrisey, who caught the exhibition in Chicago.

In an exit survey at BODY WORLDS exhibition sites, 66 percent of visitors stated that they would pay more attention to their physical health in the future. In follow up interviews six months later, and visitor comments on BODY WORLDS' website, an overwhelming number of visitors stated that they made lifestyle changes in diet, alcohol, smoking, and exercise habits. "Though the body has a memory and is affected by what we do to it, it also has an amazing resilience and capacity to change. Even small changes we make will pay off with big dividends," says Dr. von Hagens. "Many who have seen the exhibition say it gave them the impetus to change. Since our mission is health education, we consider such changes the true achievement.

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Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS 3: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies Presented in Partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation

Houston, February 13, 2006—The Houston Museum of Natural Science, in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation, announces the debut of Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS 3: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies, including never-before seen whole-body plastinates, at the Museum opening Feb. 25 through Sept. 4, 2006.

Created by Dr. Gunther von Hagens, BODY WORLDS 3 is the culmination of the German scientist and physician's 30-year career in anatomy. Like its predecessors, BODY WORLDS 3 presents more than 200 authentic specimens, including organs and whole body specimens, that have undergone Plastination-von Hagens' groundbreaking method of halting decomposition and preserving the body after death for medical study, which he invented in 1977. But von Hagens says the Houston exhibit captures the evolution and refinement of his invention to its outer limits.

During Plastination, all bodily fluids and soluble fats are replaced with reactive resins and elastomers such as silicon rubber and epoxy, through vacuum-forced impregnation. After gas, heat, or light curing, the specimens assume rigidity and permanence. “The purpose of Plastination from its very inception was a scientific one, to educate medical students. But the interest that laypeople had in the plastinated specimens inspired me to think of creating public exhibitions, which was followed by the realization that I had to offer a heightened sense of aesthetics, to avoid shocking the public and to capture their imagination,” said von Hagens.

The striking whole-body plastinates in BODY WORLDS 3-people who in their lifetime donated their bodies for Plastination for the express purpose of educating future generations about health-allow viewers to see inside the staggeringly complex and completely interconnected network of muscles, tendons and blood vessels that make up our bodies. Many of the whole-body plastinates in BODY WORLDS 3 will be on display for the first time.

“Baylor College of Medicine is very pleased to have the opportunity to join with the Houston Museum of Natural Science and The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation to bring this wonderful, educational exhibition to the Houston community,” said Dr. Peter G. Traber, President and CEO of Baylor College of Medicine. “This provides us an opportunity to work with the Houston Museum of Natural Science to enhance their outstanding educational programs and enrich people's understanding of the human body.”

“Visitors to BODY WORLDS 3 will encounter both the resilience and fragility of the human body. They will discover how a body works when it is healthy and how it breaks down when it is not,” said Joel A. Bartsch, president of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. “The aesthetic, accessible displays invite contemplation, study and reflection of the power and vulnerability of the human body by everyone.”

“BODY WORLDS 3 is a collaboration, a joint quest towards enlightenment between donor, anatomist and visitor,” said Dr. von Hagens. Nearly 18 million visitors in 32 cities across Asia, Europe, and North America have engaged in the pact since its debut in Japan in 1996, and more than 6500 donors including 142 Americans have bequeathed their bodies to von Hagens' Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany.

Medical experts from the Baylor College of Medicine will provide expert consultation, docent training and educational programming support in collaboration with the Museum for the duration of the BODY WORLDS 3 exhibit.

Tickets for entrance into the exhibit between 9 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. are $22 for adults; $15 for children (3-11), seniors (62+) and students with a valid college ID; and $14 for groups of 20 or more. Tickets for entrance into the exhibit between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. are $15 for adults; $13 for children (3-11), seniors (62+) and students with a valid college ID; and $13 for groups of 20 or more.

For tickets, or more information, visit www.hmns.org or call 713-639-4629. Information is available in Spanish at (713) 639-4603. Through 5 p.m., tickets to BODY WORLDS 3 also include free admission to the special exhibition "The Royal Tombs of Ur: Ancient Treasures from Modern Iraq" and the Museum's permanent exhibit halls.

For more information about the exhibit, Plastination or body donation, visit www.bodyworlds.com The Houston Museum of Natural Science-one of the nation's most heavily attended museums-is a centerpiece of the Houston Museum District. With four floors of permanent exhibit halls, and the Wortham IMAX® Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium and George Observatory and as host to world-class and ever-changing touring exhibitions, the Houston Museum has something to delight every age group. With such diverse and extraordinary offerings, a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, located at One Hermann Circle Drive in the heart of the Museum District, is always an adventure. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is located in the northwest corner of Hermann Park at One Hermann Circle Drive at the intersection of San Jacinto and Hermann.

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New female plastinate makes a splash at BODY WORLDS 2 at Ontario Science Centre

Toronto, January 13, 2006—She is full of grace and poise, and her intention to make a perfect dive is evident. Her front torso leans towards the water, back half arches dramatically, and her internal organs and legs are stabilized at the center by perfectly pointed feet. She is the "Head-Diver", the newest plastinated donor specimen joining Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS 2: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies at the Ontario Science Centre.

Preserved through Plastination -- Dr. Gunther von Hagens' method of halting decomposition of the body by replacing all bodily fluids with polymers -- the specimen is an athletic woman in her physical prime. She is the seventh female plastinate to join the exhibit, and a reminder of the growing number of female donors signing on to the exhibit's Body Donation Program, such as the first Canadian body donor, Stephanie Chapu who recently announced her decision to donate her body for plastination.

"Over half our viewers are women and many of them have expressed their desire to see anatomy and pathology related to women's bodies. In the early days it was not always possible, but now as a more than sixty percent of our donors are women, I am committed to the representation of women in BODY WORLDS," said Dr. von Hagens.

Frequently, the desire to see more female bodies in the exhibit is expressed. “I learned so much about my own body by seeing the female plastinates in the exhibit, and I would love to see more,” Jennifer Segalowitz, a 28-year old female visitor said after touring the exhibit.

Through the holidays, BODY WORLDS 2 experienced a surge of visitors that continues and is likely to carry the exhibit through its close. To date the exhibit has drawn over 240,000 visitors in Toronto and nearly 18 million visitors worldwide. Lesley Lewis, CEO of the Science Centre welcomed the new addition and said, “The Ontario Science Centre is pleased to be the first and only Canadian venue to host BODY WORLDS 2. We are excited to be a part of the debut of a new plastinate and hope that anyone who is interested in learning more about human anatomy takes advantage of seeing the exhibit while it is in Toronto.”

BODY WORLDS 2 at the Ontario Science Centre will close on February 26, 2006. The exhibit is open until 9 PM daily and evening hours are encouraged to avoid long wait times.

Note to Editors and Producers
The Institute for Plastination, which developed this exhibit, requires members of print and broadcast media to complete special user agreement forms before on-site coverage of BODY WORLDS 2 is allowed. Please contact Georgina Gomez or Alicia Stanton for further details.

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