This month, the latest edition of the Body World Exhibition opened its doors in Heidelberg. "The Mirror of Time" collection builds off "Plastination," the original show founded by Gunther von Hagen back in 1977.
The Plastination exhibits have been referenced for educational purposes around the world, including in the field of medicine.
"The Mirror of Time" is focused on health, well-being and the aging process, and will be the first exhibition in Germany since 2004.
One focus of the new edition is to show the beauty of the human life cycle, demonstrated with over 200 plasticized specimens. Another intention is to show the way our bodies fight illness, disease, or the effects of smoking on the human body.
More than 26 million people have seen Body Worlds in the last 14 years. It has been one of the most discussed exhibitions, and has included scandals dating back to Von Hagen's beginning which even induced massive protests. Despite the controversy, Von Hagen found a way to present millions of people with the details of human anatomy using fascinating plasticized bodies which both shock and impress.
I saw the Body Worlds show in Basel in 1999 and I was really touched by the beauty of the human anatomy, although I wasn't as shocked as I had expected to be.