London’s Museums: The Wellcome Collection

The Wellcome Collection

Last week I went to visit the forensics exhibition at the Wellcome Collection opposite Euston train station. As usual it was raining, but hey I live in England, what did I expect?

The Wellcome Collection started as the passion Sir Henry Wellcome had for medicine, a passion that led him to collect millions of objects. So, as you can imagine, exhibitions are always related to medicine and its influence on the world. Forensics: The Anatomy Of Crime was such a case.

It was an amazing exhibition, especially if you took the time to read all the information provided, which I did. I can’t remember the last time I did that, I never do that! That’s how interesting it was.

The whole show was divided into rooms that showed the different stages in forensics. You start at the crime scene, where methods of photographing the victims and techniques of deducing the time and death of the body are shown. They also have a short video of a fly’s life cycle and how it’s helped forensic experts around the world to solve cases. They tell you how maggots were first introduced in forensics in the 1900s, as before people thought certain animals didn’t reproduce but merely appeared out of thin air (or in the fly’s case, from rotten meat).

You then move on to the morgue, were you have a video of a morgue expert talking about her job and methods, as well as tools and old books about how to autopsy a body. The most disturbing thing, however, was an audio of an autopsy being performed, which involved a lot of squishy and cracking sounds.

After that you continue into the lab, where they mainly focused on identifying the suspects, showing us how facial recognition, finger prints, DNA and bullets are used and how these techniques came to be,

Then we move on to bones, and I apologize but I cannot remember the name of this room, but it was dark and it had a huge screen were we see a group of women looking for their families’ bodies in a desert. How they looked for decades for the bodies of the dictatorship victims (in Chile, Pinochet’s victims) and how one of them found her brother’s foot still in its shoe.

Lastly we moved on to the courtroom, where they showed us stories from past crimes and how they used to transcribe and illustrate the trials.

All in all a very exciting exhibition, especially for all of you who are fans of CSI or Dexter. I’m sorry about the lack of pictures but you’re not allowed to take them inside. The building is actually really nice inside, it has a café and a really big museum shop filled with books about past and current exhibitions. You also have a library, which is incredibly interesting but again focused on medicine around the world, but a great source of information. I completely recommend going and having a look.

Hope this has been interesting and hope you’re enjoying the bank holiday today, even though the weather isn’t the best!

Until next time,

Inês

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