A Romanian man was arrested today for vandalizing the tombs of three Cypriot archbishops. Apparently he had issues with the “church and holy ground.” Although it initially looked like he had removed the remains of one the archbishops, it turns out that the body had been reburied elsewhere. This arrest comes just months after the theft of the corpse of former President Tassos Papadopoulos. The body was recently recovered as it had been reburied in another grave. Three men have been arrested and although the motive is not known, there is speculation that this body snatching may have been motivated by an attempt to ransom the body to the family. This reminds me of the conviction of the three animal rights extremists back in 2006 who dug up and stole the body of Gladys Hammond, the mother-in-law of a farm owner who bred guinea-pigs for animal research. Their plan was to hold the corpse as ransom to blackmail the farm owners.
If you are not used to corpses, there is something deeply disturbing about bodily remains. Last week, I visited the bizarre “Evolution” store in Soho, New York. Evolution has been issued a special license by the New York State Department of Health, as a Nontransplant Anatomic Bank. This authorizes Evolution to store and distribute human skulls, human skeletons, and individual human bones, for medical research and/or health professional education. When I was there, they had human skeletons of everyone from fetuses, babies, children right up to adults. They had a veritable menagerie of animals that were stuffed, plastinated, made into purses and even freeze-dried.
I have not planned my own disposal yet, but I hope to leave no tangible trace or anything worth putting up on eBay. (Actually eBay does not allow the sale of these items). On the other hand, I did really enjoy my visit to Soho and so maybe spending the afterlife in a New York loft apartment as a coat rack may not be such a bad fate.