Sacred Body Worlds?

Cristo_yacente_Gregorio_Fernandez_2Do you remember all the fuss the churches made when the Body Worlds exhibition came to town last year? The Bishop of Manchester said: “Is this little shop of horrors that has entered Manchester really a family day out? I do hope the science museum will at least put a warning on its website for parents to protect the young, review the under-five ‘free entry’ marketing policy and, just like a horror at the cinema, raise the entry age to 18.” At the time the organisers said in response  that “anatomical exhibitions originated in churches during the Renaissance, when the visionaries of that period believed that man’s life was worthy of study and contemplation, and church leaders viewed anatomy and dissection as a window into God’s work.”Now these arguments will be put to the test  again as London’s National gallery will play host to the first major exhibition of what it regards as some of the world’s most beautiful and shocking works of religious and sacred art. The show’s curator Xavier Bray has says; “It is to shock the senses and stir the soul.” I can’t wait and I dare say the Bishop of Manchester may already have booked his ticket!

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