Plastic fantastic: Professor Gunther von Hagens
Gunther von Hagens's controversial Bodyworlds exhibition is busy touring the globe, but what drives this pioneering man? Nigel Lane finds out
Gunther von Hagens's interest in all things three dimensional began when, as a child, he'd build cardboard aeroplanes in East Germany. He was also greatly excited by having a neighbour who was a sculptor.
At the age of six, he was in hospital for six months with haemophilia A. He remembers: “One day my head felt really heavy. I touched my forehead, and it was full of blood under the skin. Eventually, I was taken to the operating room where I heard the doctors say that they thought I would die.” This was obviously a frightening experience, but it influenced his future decision to study medicine.
At 16, however, he was deemed “not clever enough” to continue in mainstream education so he started work. He recalls: “I was a