New exhibit brings real bodies to Union Station

Posted at 1:45 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 09:03:08-04

Some call it science. Others may say it's controversial. Whatever the case, it is certainly unusual.

Body Worlds & the Cycle of Life, an exhibit featuring fifteen real human bodies, will make its Kansas City debut at Union Station this weekend.

"See the beauty, the intricacy, the function, of our own human bodies," said Union Station President & CEO George Guastello.

But any exhibit like this certainly isn't for everyone.

"I think people pause," said Guastello. "I certainly have paused every time I go through this exhibit, and I have seen it in several locations around the world."

Those looking to learn more about the exhibit before deciding whether to see it can learn more here.

Guastello recently went to the lab in Germany where the bodies are preserved to see the process, known as plastination, for himself.

"And actually went through the documents showing who donated why and where, to actually ensure to our community that what we've brought is the finest exhibition that we could in the world," said Guastello.

Plastination was created in 1977 by Dr. Gunther von Hagens in Germany. His wife and curator of the exhibit, Dr. Angelina Whalley, traveled from Heidelberg to be part of the opening days in Kansas City.

While recognizing that some will be given pause by what they see, she hopes, in the end, the exhibit will help all of us realize the amazing gift that is life.

The people who gave their bodies to the exhibit remain anonymous.

Union Station officials point out that bodies were preserved this way for decades for scientific research, but now they're on display for everyone to see.

By looking at the bodies and other exhibits, visitors can learn about how we age, what goes wrong and how we die.

"We hope that people will come to Union Station and learn about themselves and most importantly the healthy choices they need to make to have a long and healthy life," said Guastello.

The exhibit starts May 21 and runs through October 23 at Union Station. 



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