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The rise and fall of Dr. von Hagens' naked cadavers

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In the mid-nineties, Dr. Gunther von Hagen (nicknamed "Dr. Death" by some tabloids) became known as the creator of Body Worlds, an exhibition that displayed body parts and full cadavers that were subjected to plastination. Invented by von Hagen, plastination is a process that replaces the water and fat of corpse with plastics, preserving the remains for scientific study. Von Hagen took his exhibition around the world, and last decade shot several shows for British television involving the process.

The good times weren't to last, however, as Wired reveals in its feature The Plastinarium of Dr. von Hagens. By 2010 the scientist's empire was crumbling, public interest in Body Worlds had dwindled, and as von Hagen's scientific work relied on the income from once-lucrative proceeds, his plastination institutes faced closure. In recent years, von Hagen's health has deteriorated; unsurprisingly the doctor plans on having his body plastinated after he passes.