Awe-inspiring exhibition comes to Newcastle for UK first

A unique science exhibition by scientist Dr Gunther von Hagens using real human organs is coming to Newcastle for its UK debut

Gunther von Hagens Dr Gunther von Hagens Body Worlds Vital exhibition
Dr Gunther von Hagens Body Worlds Vital exhibition will be coming to Newcastle's Life Science Centre

A pioneering exhibition that explores the wonder of the human body using real organs is coming to Newcastle for its UK debut.

The Life Science Centre will host Body Worlds Vital, which has already been experienced by 38 million people in more than 90 cities worldwide.

The exhibition brings together a collection of real human bodies, specimens and organs, willed by donors and preserved through plastination - a ground-breaking preservation process invented by scientist Dr Gunther von Hagens.

Vital, which has already exhibited in Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles and Mexico City, features a unique set of anatomical specimens enabling visitors to learn about human anatomy by viewing real human bodies.

Linda Conlon, chief executive of Life, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be bringing Body Worlds Vital to Newcastle for its UK debut. It fuses art, science and culture and offers a rare opportunity to experience a powerful and remarkable exhibition that helps us to understand the wonder, sophistication and fragility of our own bodies.”

The exhibition, which opens at Life on May 17, shows how the body works when it is healthy and explores how best to fight life-threatening diseases.

Visitors will be able to explore human anatomy, physiology and health through a series of full body plastinates, individual organs and transparent body slices that give a complete picture of how the human body functions.

Healthy and diseased organs are shown alongside each other allowing people to see how lifestyle choices, such as smoking, may affect the body.

Dr Angelina Whalley, curator and designer of the Body Worlds exhibitions, said: “I am struck by the synergy, symmetry and poetry of having the trailblazing science of plastination that unveils the keenly intelligent human body, presented at Life, the pioneering science village which has the co-discoverer of DNA, Nobel Laureate Dr James Watson, as its patron.

“Our mission dovetails with that of Life - to engage visitors and ignite an interest in the life sciences.”

Highlights of the exhibition include a relay runner posed mid-handover to display the muscular system and a gymnast posed mid-air in a spread-eagle jump.

Leading North East figures have welcomed the news of such a pioneering exhibition coming to the region, which they hope will help attract more visitors to the area.

Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central, said: “It’s easy to forget that far from being abstract, science is also about finding out what it means to be human. Body Worlds Vital is an incredible exhibition that makes the study of the human body accessible to us all allowing us to gain a new appreciation and respect for our own existence.

“Life is to be applauded for bringing such an inspiring exhibition to the city.”

Coun Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, added: “It’s a coup for Newcastle that the International Centre for Life has managed to attract the Body Worlds exhibition.”

Body Worlds Vital is at Life Science Centre from May 17 until November 2. Tickets, which range between £7.50 and £12, can be booked online at www.life.org.uk

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