Original bodies go on display in Ankara

Original bodies go on display in Ankara

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Original bodies go on display in Ankara

‘Body Worlds: The Cycle of Life’ will feature a special presentation on the life cycle and aging. The exhibition, which has drawn big interest in Istanbul, will open in Ankara this week.

The world-renowned exhibit “Body Worlds: The Cycle of Life” will visit Ankara starting Sept. 7, following up on its visit to Istanbul two years ago. With academic support from Ankara University, the exhibit will open at the city’s Kentpark Shopping Mall.

“Body Worlds: The Cycle of Life” made its premiere visit to Istanbul in 2010, receiving more than 400,000 visitors. Students from schools and medical faculties all around the country, as well as top officials including President Abdullah Gül, Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş and Mayor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, as well as many other municipal leaders, were among those who saw the exhibit in Istanbul.

Created by German maverick anatomist Gunther von Hagens, “Body Worlds: The Cycle of Life” shows the complexity, resilience, and vulnerability of the human body through anatomical studies of the body in distress, disease, and optimal health. Hagens has taken anatomy out of the clinical environment and transformed it through the scientific and aesthetic wonder of “plastination,” a method of preserving anatomical specimens he invented in 1977 to enable medical students to study the human body in greater depth.

The exhibition features a special presentation on the life cycle and aging, from prenatal development and infancy through childhood and adolescence to youth, adulthood, and old age. It shows the body living through time at its most radiant, and as it changes, grows, matures, peaks, and finally wanes. It presents aging in the context of the human life cycle, as a natural progression from the spark of life at conception to living with inspiration into later years. It presents incredible feats and cautionary tales about age-related matters, as well as the latest findings in longevity research.

For Dr. Angelina Whalley, the creative designer of the Body Worlds exhibits, which have been seen by more than 30 million people, the latest edition, “The Cycle of Life” is the one that most intrigues her, as it focuses on the human life cycle and aging.

Living well beyond the lifespan

“People turning 50 today have more than half their adult lives still ahead of them, so the question of how to live well beyond the lifespan of previous generations has become more and more urgent,” she said.

In the exhibition, she presents the human life cycle from the spark of conception to old age, alongside the process of aging and longevity science. She also shows the impact of environment and lifestyle on the body as it develops and ages.

“I’d like to show aging as a natural process that, with some effort on our part, can be controlled. All of us should be living with one eye on the future,” she said.

“Most people have some idea how the human body works. This exhibition shows the difference between healthy and sick organs, and their effects on the human body. The exhibition is a very important and special one, because it displays the magnificence of the human body,” Professor Mehmet Üzel of Istanbul University’s Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Medicine said, speaking about the exhibit.