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DEATH-SOCCON  2003

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Subject:

2 Discussions related to death and the body for Museums and Galleries Month

From:

Tiffany Jenkins <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal of the Dead

Date:

Thu, 10 Apr 2003 12:40:55 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (66 lines)

The Institute of Ideas and the Royal College of Physicians present two
debates for Museums and Galleries Month 2003

Human Remains: objects to study or ancestors to bury?
Friday 2 May 2003, 7.30pm

Tristram Besterman director, Manchester Museum
Robert Foley director of the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary
Studies, Cambridge
Jane Hubert co-editor, The Dead and their Possessions: repatriation in
principle, policy and practice
Sebastian Payne chief scientist, English Heritage
Chair - Tiffany Jenkins Institute of Ideas

Museums have always contained collections of human remains, from ancient
mummies to shrunken heads, but now ethical battles rage about 'who owns the
bones'. A DCMS committee looks set to suggest they are sent back to source
communities. Are these bones really the property of long distant relatives,
or the scholarly responsibility of curators and scientists? Will sending the
skeletons back bring healing to abused and spiritually broken peoples? Or
are museums and scientific institutions surrendering invaluable artefacts
and sacrificing greater knowledge of humanity that we have a responsibility
to honour?

Morbid Fascination: the body and death in contemporary culture
Friday 16 May 2003, 7.30pm

Ken Arnold Head of Exhibitions, The Wellcome Trust
Piers Benn lecturer in medical ethics, Imperial College London
Alistair Campbell, Professor of Ethics in Medicine, University of Bristol
Michael Fitzpatrick GP, author The Tyranny of Health
Jane Wildgoose artist and designer
Chair - Tiffany Jenkins Institute of Ideas

Contemporary art seems enraptured with the visceral effect of the physical
matter of the body. Gunther Von Hagen's Body Worlds exhibition attracted
millions to view plastinated flesh, and many have volunteered to be part of
future exhibitions. While art wallows in flesh, the media debate whether
images of the war dead are offensive. At the same time the outcry over
retained body parts at Alder Hey shows the public is unhappy about the
medical use of their loved ones' bodies, and there is a slow decline in the
donation of body parts to science. It seems while the artistic embrace of
the body is welcomed, the scientific gaze causes problems. Why are there
such different interpretations of what it means to respect the dead body
medically and culturally?

Tickets and information:  7/5 concessions for each debate from 020 7269
9220

Tour:
The Royal College of Physicians was founded by King Henry VIII in 1518.
Before the debates a 20 minute tour will be available of its collections,
which range from portraits of Fellows and physicians to Symon's Collection
of medical instruments. Highlights include William Harvey's demonstration
rod, the college's silver-gilt mace and six 17th century anatomical tables.
Please book by emailing  [log in to unmask]

Venue:
Dorchester Library
The Royal College of Physicians
11 St Andrews Place
Regent's Park
London NW1

www.instituteofideas.com

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