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Oddly Enough

Tattoos that won't fade, even after death

Monday, December 30, 2013 - 01:21

Dec. 30 - A Dutch entrepreneur is trying to preserve dead clients’ tattoos in a move to save the best works by skilful artists while also safeguarding the memories of the deceased. Tara Cleary reports.

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When Dutchman Floris Hirschfeld's mother died two years ago, he had her portrait tattooed on his back in her honor. And when he dies, he hopes this image - skin and all - will be preserved and appreciated. SOUNDBITE: Floris Hirschfeld, tattoo preservation client, saying (English): "There are people who have stuffed animals in their homes, so why not skin, and if you look in certain old tattoo shops, there is always a jar with special water with a piece of skin in it and it just looks terrible, and this way it looks much better so I would say, if I can be preserved like this, yes, please!" Tattoo shop owner Peter van der Helm came up with a gory-sounding preservation method: the deceased's tattooed skin is removed and placed in formaldehyde or frozen. It then undergoes a 12-week process which extracts moisture and replaces it with silicone, leaving a rubbery texture. SOUNDBITE: Peter van der Helm, tattoo shop owner, saying (English): "Johnny Depp always says like "when I die, I want to be in a museum with my tattoos", so we thought, let's find the way to see if we can really make that possible. It's not a new idea, so we just found the way to actually do it." Hirschfeld is one of 30 clients who have made out wills donating their skin to the company. So if you're especially attached to that artwork on your skin, van der Helm's your man.

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Tattoos that won't fade, even after death

Monday, December 30, 2013 - 01:21