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Some St. Louisans who grew up in China are expressing their anguish over an exhibit of Chinese bodies — preserved in plastic — opening this weekend at the Galleria.
Peng Su, a local spokeswoman for the Falun Gong meditation movement, fears some of the bodies may have been political prisoners.
“As Falun Gong members, we have been persecuted in China severely,” Su said, “and we know how horrible China’s human rights record is, so we have a big concern who those bodies are.”
Those bodies — ten in all — dissected, dipped in plastic and displayed under track lights — are of unknown origin . Bowing to pressure form the Missouri Attorney General, the show’s promoter, Premier Exhibitions, agreed to put up a disclaimer, admitting the bodies came from the Chinese Bureau of Police.
Defending the exhibit, Premiere’s Dr. Roy Glover, says he believes strongly that none of the dead were political prisoners.
“Since I didn’t go to China and I didn’t personally receive the bodies, nor did anybody from Premier Exhibitions go to China to receive the bodies, we cannot one-hundred percent guarantee that to the public,” Glover said, “Do we believe that they are executed prisoners? No. Do we have confidence in our partner? Yes. Do we have affidavits from our partner? Yes.”
“We do know that they come out of prisons,” Koster said, “that they are unclaimed bodies in the country of China. But there is no way to either verify or disprove the allegation that they are political prisoners
In the end, Koster and Premier Exhibitions agreed to post a disclaimer on the wall, which will greet customers who attend.
“Premier cannot independently verify the complete provenance of the human remains in this exhibition. They were obtained from a plastination facility in China, which received them from medical and research universities in China. These universities received the remains from medical examiner authorities in the Chinese Bureau of Police. The specimens are unclaimed by the next of kin and there is no written documentation that any of the persons consented to the plastination and/or exhibition of their bodies.”