Re: “Portland’s exhibit on human bodies presents anatomy as art” (Sept. 2):

I have been waiting to hear the outrage from anyone in the area over the “Body Worlds” exhibit now on display in Portland.

If you’ve missed the hype, the exhibit presents real bodies that have been preserved using “plastination.” People supposedly checked off a box that said their body could be “plastinated” after death and hung from wires for everybody to see. Really?

Medical people need to know the intricacies of the human body, but with scanners, MRIs, X-rays and even more sophisticated technologies today, they should get the picture and the knowledge they need for their jobs. This exhibit is not for them.

For the rest of us, it’s a Barnum and Bailey stunt – disgraceful and ghoulish. “The Elephant Man” also comes to mind.

I recently saw the beautiful Wabanaki basket exhibit at the Maine Historical Museum. Native peoples would never consent to the degradation of the human body such as “Body Worlds” engages in.

In fact, native peoples all over this nation have spent years trying to retrieve their ancestors from such places as the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and elsewhere.

These “plastinated” people belong to somebody. They are somebody’s ancestor. They do not exist outside of a family – at the very least, the human family. Take them down and bury them and let them rest in peace.

Shame on you.

Susan Bassler Pickford

Portland