In the music video for his 1983 hit "Thriller," Michael Jackson famously appears as a zombie. Now the eccentric music star could join the ranks of the undead for real: According to media reports, he is considering having his body posthumously preserved by plastination pioneer Gunther von Hagens.
The British tabloid the Daily Star reported that Michael Jackson was planning to have his body "plastinated" by von Hagens, who has himself achieved considerable fame through his successful -- and highly controversial -- "Body Worlds" exhibitions. The paper quoted a source close to the pop star as saying that the singer was "definitely up for undergoing the procedure when the time comes."
In an interview published in the Wednesday edition of the mass circulation German daily Bild, von Hagens lent weight to the report. "I am not allowed to divulge the names of the people who donate their bodies to me due to patient-doctor confidentiality," said the doctor, who shares the pop star's fondness for black hats. "I will only say this -- one of Michael's Jackson's employees has made contact with us."
Von Hagens said that his patented plastination process could continue the process of reshaping Jackson's body that the self-styled King of Pop has pursued through multiple plastic surgery operations. "I could give Michael the gift of physical immortality -- he has already achieved this with his music." Bild speculated that Jackson's nose, which has famously received a series of surgical interventions, was already plastinated enough to not require any further work.
The Plastination inventor offered to show Jackson around his Body Worlds show which will be on at London's O2 arena at the same time as Jackson's recently announced comeback concert series, which begins in July. "I would happily walk Mr. Jackson through my exhibition," von Hagens told the newspaper. "We could talk about a possible pose for him as a plastinate."
Von Hagens' Body Worlds exhibitions show bodies which have been given to his Institute for Plastination by donors who signed up for the process while they were alive and have been visited by more than 26 million people to date, according to the Body Worlds Web site.
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