’Our Body’ exhibition banned in France
2010 09 20

By Priscille LaFitte | France24.com


France’s highest court has held up two previous verdicts banning the "Our Body: The Universe Within" exhibition, making France the first country to ban the controversial human body expo.

The highest judicial authority in France has definitively banned the exhibition “Our Body: The Universe Within”, upholding two previous court decisions that raised concerns over the striking expo that showcases actual human body parts, organs and skin.

The ruling is significant both because banning exhibitions in France is a rarity, and because it makes France the first country to chase out “Our Body". The exhibition has enjoyed successful runs in the United States and Germany.

“Our Body” uses a technique of polymer impregnation, developed by the German anatomist Gunther von Hagens, that precisely preserves human tissues down to the cell level and cancels putrefaction. It has stunned visitors with its detailed display of intertwining human body systems.

The exhibition was presented to French audiences, first in Lyon and Marseille in the spring of 2008, then in Paris in February 2009, before running into legal troubles.

Body of evidence

Soon after their arrival, the origins of the bodies became a matter of debate in France. Two organisations, “Together against the death penalty” and “Solidarity China”, said they suspected the bodies came from the Chinese prison authority, and not from Hong Kong medical schools, as “Our Body” producer Studio 2 Productions claims.


The exposed body parts and organs are so perfectly preserved, the two rights organisations argued, that they must have been delivered just moments after death. Another observation brought forth by the two groups was that the bodies show no evidence of serious pathology that could have caused immediate death.

The critics of the expo maintain that the bodies probably belonged to former Chinese death row inmates, around 6,000 of whom are killed each year.
Encore Productions, the local French organiser of the exhibition, was unable to prove – on grounds of medical confidentiality - that the Chinese group that provided the bodies had not procured them from prisons.


Appealing… to consumers?

After the rights groups presented their case, a Paris judge ordered “Our Body” to be closed in 2009. The exhibition organisers shot back that the ruling had been “ecclesiastically” inspired, based on the judge’s “personal beliefs” and appealed the decision.

Ten days later, a Paris court of appeals confirmed the ban, but offered a different reason for its decision: the judge insisted that proof of origins needed to be displayed on exhibits. Encore Productions launched a new appeal.

After deliberation, France’s highest appeals court has also sided with the plaintiffs, but on entirely new grounds. According to the presiding judges, the display of corpses for commercial purposes goes against the French civil code, which states: "The remains of the deceased should be treated with respect, dignity and decency."
For Patrice Spinosi, the lawyer for Encore Productions, the decision sets a questionable precedent. “‘Commercial purposes’, is at best a vague term,” Spinosi says. “We will see if any exhibition you have to pay to see can become a candidate for this ban,” he added.

For the winning lawyer, Richard Sedillot, the issue is also far from over. He says he has already been contacted by Canadian and Eastern European organisations that hope to bring similar charges against “Our Body” in their own countries.

Article from: france24.com




Related Articles
8-Year-Old Painting Prodigy "Mini Monet" is New Art World Star
The (Naked) Nobel Brotherhood and Vigeland’s Strange Art in Oslo
Ostrich egg patterns oldest form of art and communication
Alan Moore - Art is Magic (Video)
National Art Hate Week
Israeli art show removes pictures showing suicide bomber as Virgin Mary after public furor
Neurology and the Passion for Art (Video)
Czech EU art stokes controversy
Gunther von Hagens exhibition criticised over corpse sex display


Latest News from our Front Page

Starbucks Supports Pro-GMO Company
2014 11 26
Another reason why you should not go to Starbucks. Starbucks has an image of being a socially responsible, environmentally friendly company (Really?). In 2013, 95 percent of their coffee was ethically sourced, and their goal is to reach 100 percent by 2015.1 Other goals include reducing water consumption by 25 percent in their company-operated stores by 20152 and mobilizing their employees and ...
Group Polarization and the Fad of Ethno-masochism
2014 11 26
From "Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 6 50 (6): 1141--1151 The psychology of White self hatred. Political correctness IS a mental disorder. More: Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis. Isenberg, Daniel J. the paper Indoctrinate U Harvard Professor Noel Ignatiev talks about how to end the White race The History of Political Correctness The Narrative: The origins of Political ...
Credo: A Nietzschean Testament by Jonathan Bowden
2014 11 26
This lecture by Jonathan Bowden was given at the 11th New Right meeting in London on September 8, 2007. The original title of the presentation was “The Art and Philosophy of Jonathan Bowden.” I think ideas are inborn, and you’re attracted, if you have any, toward certain systems of thinking and sensibility and response. From a very young age, I was ...
A Look Back at the OJ Simpson Verdict -- Reactions
2014 11 26
This is a look back at the different reactions to the OJ Simpson verdict some 20 years ago (exact date of verdict was Oct 3, 1995). The OJ Simpson jury consisted of 9 Blacks, 1 Hispanic, and 2 Whites. It would raise eyebrows after they only deliberated for 4 hours in a case that they were involved in for almost ...
New York Times Publishes Darren Wilson’s Street Address and Photo of House #Ferguson
2014 11 26
Hey here are the two @nytimes scumbags that published Wilson’s home address. —> @juliebosman & @campbellnyt— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) November 25, 2014 Michael Brown’s Stepdad Shouting ‘Burn This Bitch Down’ The New York Times published information about the address of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on Monday in a move that has generated controversy. Tensions are running high in Ferguson, Missouri, as ...
More News »