‘Bodies’ Exhibit in Search of a Home
By: Debbie Zucco, Los Angeles Times
Helen Reynolds summed up “Bodies: the Exhibition” in Buena Park this way: “Cool — but kind of grosses me out.”
That assessment came even before the 14-year-old freshman at Ocean View High School in Huntington Beach had gotten to the cirrhotic liver, diseased from alcohol abuse, the dark and enlarged lungs of a smoker, or the array of glass-jar-encased fetuses, each arrested at a particular stage of development — 24 weeks, 22 weeks, 20 weeks, 18, and so on.
That is not to suggest that the exhibit is morbid, freakish or even frivolous, as it sits in the shadow of the tall rides of nearby Knott’s Berry Farm. For many, it’s serious business.
The anatomy expert who designed the exhibition is emphatic about the educational purpose.
“Can you imagine what they have learned?” Roy Glover said of the 300,000 people who have visited “Bodies” since it opened on Beach Boulevard in August 2013. (It opened in the U.S. in 2005 in Tampa, Fla., having come from a showing in Blackpool, England, the year before.)
“People have decided to quit smoking when they see what happens to the lungs and eat healthier when they see what plaque can do to their heart, and drink less because they see that their liver can become fibrotic and function ineffectively. And they learn the language of the body so that when they go to the doctor, they can communicate more effectively.”
But the exhibition is in its final days in Buena Park. It is expected that it will be hosting its last visitor on Jan. 3.
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