It might be more than 150 years old, but this Italian anatomical mummy, like others in Rini's collection, may look familiar to anyone who's seen the popular "Body Worlds" exhibitions of "plastinated" human corpses.
Whereas Rini's "petrification" technique involved replacing the body's organic matter with minerals, plastination fills human tissue cells with polymers, said Peter Kiefer, spokesperson for the Institute for Plastination, the Heidelberg, Germany-based organization behind "Body Worlds." (See pictures of "Body Worlds" corpses.)
Kiefer agreed that the two collections are strikingly similar looking, despite being centuries apart—and he may soon be able to examine the anatomical antiques up close, along with the rest of the public.
Plans are afoot, study co-author Piombino-Mascali said, for a "Body Worlds"-style display of the 19th-century mummies in a Salò museum.
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