Swiss authorities want proof of provenance and consent forms signed by the deceased or family members before allowing the exhibition to open. In the past, there have been reports concerning the illegal trade in body parts of executed prisoners for organ transplants.
Lausanne (AsiaNews/Agencies) – An exhibition that included dissected human bodies was cancelled yesterday for fear that the remains on display might be those of Chinese prisoners and members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.
The cancellation of the ‘Real Human Bodies’ exhibition followed a complaint by the Action by Christians Against Torture group (ACAT), which claims that “the bodies used in this exhibition are very probably those of Chinese prisoners who were tortured or executed and members of the Falun Gong movement which is banned in China”.
Bern authorities asked the exhibition’s organisers to provide guarantees on the provenance of the bodies used in their displays, along with written consent forms from the deceased or their relatives.
Without such proof the authorities refused to authorise the show, which had been scheduled for 19-21 October in Lausanne.
The exhibition has already been presented in the Netherlands, Belgium and the Swiss capital Bern. ‘Real Human Bodies’ uses the technique of plastination, which allows body tissue and organs to be displayed and preserved.
According to a local newspaper, the man in charge of the event in Switzerland, Hubert Huppertz, says he has the necessary paperwork for the show to go ahead.
In the past, the Falun Gong movement, which is considered an outlawed "evil cult" by Chinese authorities, has complained that some of its jailed members have been executed, and their organs illegally trafficked for the purpose of transplantation.