French Court, Bodies: Indecent

Reuters reports that a French judge has ordered the closure of the “Bodies” exhibit in Paris, ruling that it is indecent under French law. The Bodies exhibit, which consists of plastinated and rearranged actual human remains is considered by many to be an art exhibition and by others, a science display.   The exhibition has been widely viewed in the United States and venues include New York City and Las Vegas.

The organizer of the Bodies exhibition in France, Pascal Bernardin, says that he intends to appeal the ruling. Bernadin specifically described the exhibition as not an art show, but rather, characterized it as educational.   The French title of the exhibition translates as “Our Body.”

One avenue of public concern over the Bodies exhibition is related to unsubstantiated rumors that the remains included in the show may be those of executed Chinese prisoners, for whom consent would appear to be unlikely. This has not been confirmed, and the French judge did not make a statement on this issue in the ruling.

Judge Louis-Marie Raingeard is quoted as saying that according to the law, “a [dead] body should be in a cemetery.”  As reflected in the judge’s statement, the law at issue may force French museums to remove all human body parts from display, including ancient mummified remains.

 

French court says body show indecent, closes it  

Bodies, the Exhibition, official website  

(Above right, image detail of the Bodies website)

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