The Health and Safety Department in Cologne, Germany, has barred the Body Worlds: Cycle of Life exhibition from depicting preserved bodies as if they are having sexual intercourse. The exhibit cannot show videos or photographs of the material,
Gunther von Hagens and his wife Angelina Whalley show corpses prepared using a technique invented by von Hagens called plastination, that removes water from specimens and preserves them with silicon rubber or epoxy resin. The cadavers are stripped
of skin to show muscles and organs, and are often put in active poses, including playing baseball and football.
Previous exhibits have been met with a mixture of intrigue and criticism, but for years now, the corpses have traveled the world as medical/art exhibits and been visited by more than 27 million people worldwide.
The two copulating corpses are only a portion of the latest exhibit, which covers conception to old age, but von Hagens said he is planning a new show entirely dedicated to displaying the dead bodies having sex.
While some cities have shown the bodies in sexual positions, but covered by clothing, Cologne has banned the material outright, and the Catholic Church has condemned the exhibit as a desecration of the human body. The copulating corpses also were banned
in Augsburg and Zurich.
The exhibition runs until January 31, 2010.