Anatomical Exhibition BODY WORLDS – VITAL

BODY WORLDS – the most frequently visited exhibition in the world returns to Gdańsk after almost 5 years with a new exhibition – VITAL! The exhibition will be open to the public from December 15, 2023. until March 11, 2024, at Amberexpo, in Hall A, ul. Żaglowa 11.  Exhibition by the famous anatomist, inventor of plastination, Dr. Gunther von Hagens definitely stands out in history, becoming the most frequently visited exhibition of all time with a total number of over 50 million viewers! It has been delighting for over a quarter of a century, arousing great emotions and interest wherever it appears.

In 2019, the BODY WORLDS exhibition from the THE CYCLE OF LIFE series was presented in Gdańsk – Visitors then had the opportunity to learn about the changes taking place in the human body – from conception, through infancy, childhood, maturity, to the autumn of life. This year, viewers will see the BODY WORLDS exhibition from the VITAL series, which inspires people to live with vitality and full strength. It allows visitors to discover human anatomy, physiology and health. The exhibition includes over 160 real exhibits of human bodies that present the potential of the human body in motion, its anatomical form and the complexity of its functions. We will see exactly how the human body works when it is healthy and learn how to fight life-threatening diseases. The exhibition inspires people of all ages to take care of themselves and their fitness. For this purpose, healthy and diseased organs are presented side by side, so that visitors can see how lifestyle affects the body, e.g. how smoking affects the lungs and how sugar, bad fats and salt accelerate the aging process, significantly increasing the risk of many chronic diseases.

What is it about BODY WORLDS that captivates and resonates with so many millions of people from different cultures and religions, of different ages and professions? Curator Dr. Angelina Whalley, who is responsible for the content, design and conceptual planning of the exhibition, states that the key to the success of BODY WORLDS is that the exhibition profoundly changes our view of ourselves: “Visitors looking at another human body discover their own in a completely new way . The exhibition presents the body not only as the basis of our physical existence, but also as a mirror of our own lifestyle. Whatever we do or don’t do, what we eat, whether we exercise – everything has a physical impact on us, both positive and negative.” The exhibition brings to mind these associations and presents the uniqueness of human life. The knowledge gained at the exhibition sharpens the sense of one’s own defenselessness and the value of one’s health, while teaching how to take better care of oneself, especially now in this difficult period for all of us.

The unprecedented success of BODY WORLDS is based on the groundbreaking plastination process of Dr. Gunther von Hagens – a method of preserving anatomical tissue invented by a doctor and anatomist in 1977 at the University of Heidelberg. It took him many years to perfect this technology. Originally, plastination was intended only for the scientific community and advanced education. However, when Dr. von Hagens first presented his plastinates to the public at the National Science Museum in Tokyo in 1995, he could not have predicted the media frenzy and revolution that his invention would cause: “I underestimated how big a success it would be,” said Dr. von Hagens. Since then, Dr. von Hagens has devoted his time to educating the public about the human body. For his work, he received many awards from renowned institutions, including the Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award – for a significant contribution to the public understanding of science from the ASTC (Association of Science and Technology Centers), which brings together over 650 scientific institutions.

Gunther von Hagens as an anatomist, inventor, teacher and health advocate created aesthetic plastinates of the entire body. Thanks to them, we have the opportunity to thoroughly learn about the fantastic subject of the body. Through plastination, a body after a person’s death can be transformed into an amazing anatomical pattern, giving viewers the opportunity to see the human body like they have never seen it before. All the exhibits at the exhibition are real. The bodies come from donors who agreed to donate them to the Plastination Institute in Heidelberg during their lifetime. This institute has been running a special body donor program for plastination since the 1980s.

The exhibition places great emphasis on education, encouraging students of primary schools, secondary schools and universities to transfer textbook knowledge into practical anatomy learning and gaining first-hand knowledge. The educational value of the project was highly appreciated by many scientific institutions from around the world, gaining enormous popularity on every continent. The plastination method and the creation of the BODY WORLDS exhibition have made the knowledge of anatomy, once intended only for doctors and medical staff, now become available to each of us.

The global success of BODY WORLDS also confirms the recognition of world-class stars. Delighted viewers include: Demi Moore, Andre Agassi, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Gary Oldman, Steffi Graf, Dustin Hoffman, Tony Hawk and Nicole Kidman. It is, among others, at the BODY WORLDS exhibition that one of the key actions of the film about the adventures of the British secret service agent James Bond – Casino Royale – takes place!

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