A a world-renowned and sometimes controversial exhibit that features preserved human bodies and organs is slated to open to the public on Friday, Sept. 4.

The Portland Science Center’s “Body Worlds” exhibit was developed by German anatomist Gunther von Hagens more than 20 years ago. The exhibit uses a technique called plastination to reveal the insides of preserved bodies. The exhibits have toured the world, drawing more than 40 million people and some protests over the display of actual human remains.

In 2012, for example, a group led by Ohio State faculty protested a “Body Worlds” exhibit in Columbus. To counter some of the controversy, the “Body Worlds” website includes a pledge that all bodies used were willingly donated, as well as an “ethical review” of the exhibit organized by the California Science Center.

The bodies are donated directly for the purpose of the exhibit, and the donors consent to have their bodies put on display, according to the “Body Worlds” website. Von Hagens invented the plastination procedure for preserving bodies for study in 1977.

Previous “Body Worlds” exhibits have been in large cities, including London, Brussels and Berlin. In the United States, host cities have included Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Tickets will be $19.50 for adults, $17.50 for seniors, military members and students; and $15.50 for children 12 and under. Children 3 and under may enter free. Tickets may be purchased online at portlandsciencecenter.com or at the box office starting Friday, Sept. 4. Hours for the exhibit will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. The exhibit is expected to run in Portland through 2015.

The Portland Science Center is located at 68 Commercial St., on Maine Wharf, one wharf west of the Maine State Pier, and is run by The Gold Group, a Massachusetts-based company that promotes and produces educational exhibits. Exhibits promoted by the group in other cities include “Dead Sea Scrolls,” “Sea Monsters Revealed” and “Pompeii.” The center is expected to host two such exhibitions a year in Portland.

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