ST. PETERSBURG — Russia’s first open anatomical exhibition, “The Human Body,” celebrated its anniversary last week. The results are astonishing considering it only opened a year ago: The exhibition has had more than 100,000 visitors — a third of them children — and received two books of positive feedback from fans.
The display is possible thanks to the research of Russian scientists including Ivan Goivorovsky, a professor of anatomy at the Military Medical Academy, who helped develop a unique polymer-
embalming technique. This allows corpses and organs to be kept on display without posing any danger to visitors.
It took 20 years for Goivorovsky to assemble the collection and make it look like it does today. The majority of people visiting the exhibition may expect to see something morbid or disgusting, but in fact the beauty of nature remains evident.
This is the first time that an exhibition has shown the body this way, comparable to examining pathology in the human body. This makes “The Human Body” exhibition interesting and useful for medical students and professionals as well.
Cultivating a new generation of outstanding doctors is an important goal in the quest to make progress in science. Organizers of “The Human Body” closely collaborate with schools and children’s homes to educate and promote interest in the sciences. After visiting this exhibit, some children’s curiosity has been piqued and they have voiced plans to pursue careers in medicine.
This year, the exhibition has added to its collection of organs, helping people better understand the processes and workings of our internal organs.
“Anatomy is an exact science; it helps people look at their lives in an easier and more courageous way. It educates optimists,” said Alexander Nevzorov, an exhibition trustee.
The exhibit is popular not only among scientific minds, but also among more creative types as well. Located in one of the Litsedei Theater’s rehearsal rooms, the show has become a hit with actors. Anton Adasinsky, of the theater’s troupe, said knowing how the body works is of vital importance to becoming a good actor.
A collaboration event with artists is in the works. An art competition dedicated to the human body will be judged by Boris Trubnikov, head of the Severnaya Palmyra art project. The best works will be put on display at the exhibition.
It is as yet undecided how long the exhibition will run for, but supporters agree that it should be a permanent exhibition.
It has been compared with German anatomist Gunther von Hagens’ “Body World,” a show of dead bodies. “The Human Body,” however, possesses no “show” qualities and was created for educational purposes only.