August 17, 2005

Florida board tries to block cadaver exhibit

TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) - A Florida state board voted on
Wednesday to prohibit an exhibit of human cadavers at a Tampa
museum but museum officials said they intend to go ahead with

The exhibit of 20 preserved human bodies and 260 organs is
scheduled to open on Saturday at the Museum of Science and
Industry in Tampa.

But the Florida Anatomical Board voted 4-2 at a meeting on
Wednesday to deny approval for the exhibit. The board regulates
the distribution of cadavers for research and education.

The bodies were obtained from China by Premier Exhibitions,
which organized the exhibit intended to educate visitors about
the workings of the human body. The Chinese government said the
bodies were unclaimed and their identities were unknown.

Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist said last week the
exhibition of human bodies requires approval by the board.

Board members who opposed the exhibit said they were
concerned the bodies would not be displayed with the proper
respect. The bodies have been put in poses with such titles as
"Running Man" and "Soccer Player."

Museum officials said they would fight for the right to
present the exhibit, which could lead to a court battle.