Body Worlds (German title: Körperwelten) is a traveling exposition of dissected human bodies, animals, and other anatomical structures of the body that have been preserved through the process of plastination. Gunther von Hagens developed the preservation process which "unite[s] subtle anatomy and modern polymer chemistry", in the late 1970s.
A series of Body Worlds anatomical exhibitions has toured many countries worldwide, sometimes raising controversies about the sourcing and display of actual human corpses and body parts. Von Hagens maintains that all human specimens were obtained with full knowledge and consent of the donors before they died, but this has not been independently verified, and in 2004 von Hagens returned seven corpses to China because they showed evidence of being executed prisoners. A competing exhibition, Bodies: The Exhibition, openly sources its bodies from "unclaimed bodies" in China, which can include executed prisoners.
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