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'Dead head' Williams as 'schock' art

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The head of Ted Williams has been severed and frozen in the interest of science - and now it's being served up on a platter in the name of art.

Sculptor Daniel Edwards was horrified to learn several years ago that the remains of his childhood hero were being deep-cooled in the hope of someday bringing him back to life.

When Williams, 83, died in 2002, two of his children gave his body to an Arizona "life-extension" foundation, saying they'd made a pact with the Splendid Splinter to pickle their remains after death in the hope of one day being reunited.

"I don't think anyone believes this is what he wanted," said Edwards, 40. "I thought it was an extremely undignified way for him to end up."

To show the alleged exploitation of his hero, Edwards created a plaster "death mask" of the legendary slugger.

He mounted it on a pedestal and stuck a Williams-autographed baseball under his chin.

The severed head, cushioned by a baseball glove, is surrounded by collectors' cards, a Red Sox cap and a headless torso wearing a Red Sox jacket.

The piece is on display through Oct. 1 at the First Street Gallery in Chelsea.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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