Looking Death in the Face

Museum Clausum: British Museum I

As a young child, I was taken by my mother to the Senkenberg Museum in Frankfurt. The memory I have of this visit is limited to few exhibits. Apart from the seemingly gigantic dinosaur skeletons I remember only two other objects that have left a lifelong impression on me. One of these exhibits never to leave my memory is a shrunken human head (Ein echter Schrumpfkopf!). A shrivelled, shrunken, wrinkled little dead face. A real cut-off head of a dead person – with long black hair!

The second exhibit never to leave my memory was that of an unwrapped Egyptian mummy. I remember asking my mother to confirm that this really was a real dead person. A small child-like human. Having been in a dark tomb for thousands of years, now lying here… Dead. Dark, dry, wrinkled skin. Hair. Toes. Arms. Hands. Fingers. Behind glass – I can stare unashamedly. A real dead human (ein Toter!) in a glass vitrine, really close in front of me!

For more images see www.museumclausum.org

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Dark, dry, wrinkled skin. Hair. Toes. Arms. Hands. Fingers. Behind glass – I can stare unashamedly.