German 'Dr Death' charged with tax evasion

18th May 2011, Comments 0 comments

German anatomist Gunther von Hagens, dubbed "Doctor Death" for his technique of preserving and displaying dead bodies as artworks, has been charged with tax evasion, authorities said Wednesday.

Three firms owned by von Hagens allegedly employed improperly registered Polish workers, leaving the state 450,000 euros ($640,000) out of pocket in unpaid taxes and welfare contributions, prosecutors said.

Von Hagens, 66, said in January that he was terminally ill with Parkinson's disease and that he intended to have his dead body put on display using the "plastination" process that he invented.

The process involves skinning the body parts and preserving them with a synthetic resin, laying bare the naked muscles, nerves and tendons.

In 2009, he put on an exhibition in Berlin showing dead bodies having sex.

He also sells "plastinated" body parts.

In 2002 he conducted Britain's first public autopsy in 170 years despite the risk of arrest.

© 2011 AFP

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