The beginning of March saw the local media responding in sizable droves to Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS Vital media call for a preview of the German's trailblazing and internationally acclaimed exhibition at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown.
Opened by curator and conceptual designer of the BODY WORLDS exhibitions, Dr Angelina Whalley, “Vital” [one of 11 different BODY WORLDS exhibitions seen by more than 40 million people in over 100 cities worldwide] is making its debut in South Africa.
BODY WORLDS Vital offers visitors – including anyone who saw the first BODY WORLDS exhibition in SA three years ago – a fascinating exhibition experience where they’ll get a detailed look at the human body and its keenly intelligent design, explore how it functions, and see what happens when disease strikes.
Featuring centerpiece full body plastinates – a process invented by famed scientist Dr Gunther von Hagens, entailing the permanent preservation of specimens – the theme of this exhibition focuses on health, vitality, the body’s athletic potential, and the effects of certain major chronic diseases.
“As an organisation that continually looks for new ways to help people live healthier lives, we believe Dr Gunther von Hagens’ groundbreaking preservation process offers people a real-life opportunity to experience the wonder of the human body,” says Discovery Health CEO, Dr Jonathan Broomberg, whose company is presenting the installation.
“A specific focus for Discovery is to give people relevant tools and support to take care of their health and wellness at every stage of their lives, and through preventive medicine and innovative lifestyle interventions, our aim is to help prevent the onset and manage health conditions affected by lifestyle choices,” adds Broomberg.
Visitors to the exhibition are invited to explore human anatomy, physiology and health through around 180 authentic specimens including a pair of figure skaters performing a skillful lift, soccer playing duo, a chess player plotting his next move – each one illustrating different aspects of the body’s functioning and potential.
Bodies on display have been willed by donors for Plastination to increase public awareness of the human body. To date, more than 15, 000 donors around the world have bequeathed their bodies to Dr von Hagens’ Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany – after his death.
Among opening day visitors were students from King David High School Victory Park, Zola’s Aurora Girls High and Orion College who constituted grades, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12.
The learners went through the floor sections with much enthusiasm, fascination and keen banter as they listened attentively to the audio sets provided to guide visitors through the various installations.
Recommended for children aged 8+, who should be accompanied by an adult, the exhibition will be interred at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre until 19 June and then travel on to Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront from 9 August to 23 October 2016.
Ticket prices are as follows, adults[18 years+] discounted weekdays: R120 pp; weekends, public holidays and school holidays:
R160 pp; children* [6 to 17 years]: any day, special child rate: R100 pp; children 5 years and under: Free; family [2 adults + 2 children of 1 adult + 3 children] discounted weekdays: R360. Weekends, public holidays and school holidays: R440.
Group bookings [per person] and for school learners, are available online and tickets can also be purchased at the venue, subject to availability. And the audio guides cost R40 per unit.