Bristol

Bristol Museum's death exhibition attracts thousands

Symbols of death
Image caption Across the world and throughout time people have created symbols and euphemisms for death

An exhibition about death and the human experience has attracted thousands of visitors despite only opening at the weekend.

Entitled death: the human experience, it houses items showing how death is treated by cultures around the world.

In the opening weekend, the show attracted 1,600 visitors and some 700 are now visiting every day at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

The exhibits include a Ghanaian fantasy coffin and a hospital mortuary table.

Image caption Vultures are recognised as symbols of death around the world. The La Catrina (bottom right) is a Mexican symbol of death and an icon of 'Dia de los Muertos' (Day of the Dead)
Image caption In some cultures money is placed alongside the deceased
Image caption This mortuary table came from the former Bristol General Hospital, where it had been in use up to the 1960s
Image caption This Ghanaian fantasy coffin is luxuriously-lined inside
Image caption Organisers hope visitors will become more open about talking about death and dying
Image caption Audio descriptions reveal captivating stories from cultures across the world, from the earliest human societies to the modern day
Image caption The exhibition takes visitors through death, funerals mourning and memorialising
Image caption Some of the exhibits are behind doors so visitors can make up their own mind as to whether they want to see them
Image caption The exhibition encourages visitors to consider ethical issues, different attitudes to death and how different cultures have dealt with the end-of-life. The stained glass window has been loaned from St Stephens Church, Bristol
Image caption Part of the exhibition deals with the ethics of assisted suicide with speakers for and against on the video wall
Image caption It shows how people using end-of-life drugs are given squares of chocolate to get rid of the bitter taste of the drugs
Image caption An area for quiet contemplation gives visitors the chance to discuss some of the issues raised
Image caption Death: the human experience runs at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery until 13 March 2016

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