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Archive for Saturday, August 30, 2008

Origin of bodies in exhibit questioned

August 30, 2008

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— An anatomical donation form that was presented as having been signed by people whose bodies have been featured in an exhibit here was not authentic, according to officials with Union Station, where the "Bodies Revealed" show has been for months.

The donation form was released to the media after the use of the bodies were question.

Union Station Chief Executive Officer Andi Udris said officials learned in March that the form given to the station wasn't actually signed by donors and prepared a statement of explanation shortly after the exhibit had opened. But station officials never released it because questions about the form were not raised publicly at the time, he said.

"We frankly plumb forgot about it," Udris said. "I don't want it to appear that we were trying to hide or mislead anybody on it."

The exhibit ends this weekend.

Udris said Premier Exhibitions, which produced the display, provided the donation form and later confirmed that it was not signed by donors.

The plasticized cadavers in public exhibitions have drawn protesters who have said the Chinese people whose bodies or body parts were used never agreed to let their remains be displayed.

A report on ABC's "20/20" in February alleged that some of the bodies Premier used in its shows may have been from Chinese prisoners. Premier has said the subject of that report was a separate exhibit it produced called "Bodies: The Exhibition," not "Bodies Revealed" at Union Station.

But Union Station continues to cite Premier's sworn affidavit that the bodies were from willing donors and "continues to rely on the good faith" of its relationship with the company.

Premier did not return a phone message left by The Associated Press Friday.

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