Controversial anatomist Dr Gunther von Hagens has recreated an anatomically correct version of the crucifixion, and the results of his work will air on Easter Sunday in a special documentary.
Dubbed Dr Frankenstein – because his work often requires the use of human cadavers and body parts – von Hagens has created the piece using plaster casts taken from human bones and blood vessels which were injected with plastic.
Of the piece, von Hagens said, “What’s important to me is that I want to move people’s minds and souls.
“It’s a life’s work and I’m at a time in my life when I feel the clock is ticking.”
The documentary’s director, Srik Narayanan, said of the symbolism of the crucifix, “The crucifix is the most recognised symbol in the world…
“It’s an icon – effectively Christianity’s logo – which has been reproduced for nearly two thousand year.
“Reputations have been built and destroyed as artists have tried to reinvent the crucifix for their own age.
“It is something that many of the greatest artists have felt compelled to create and, time and again, you see it take them over.
“It’s often a work that they are drawn to either to prove themselves or late in life as they come to terms with their own mortality – it’s the last work that many artists undertake.
“Gunther von Hagens brings his own unique skills and knowledge of anatomy to bear on the work and he is in a long tradition of artists focusing on the very visceral nature of crucifixion.
“The documentary shows that this has become an intensely personal project for von Hagens, particularly as he has come to terms with Parkinson’s.”