Body Worlds exhibit closes its doors tonight

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Human bodies completely exposed awed and amazed Utahns for months, but today Body Worlds 3 drew to a close.

More than 285,000 people have seen the exhibit since the doors opened a few months ago. Now there's no telling when they'll open again.

Those who are involved with The Leonardo couldn't be happier about bringing Body Worlds 3 to Salt Lake. Lisa Davis, with The Leonardo, said, "It's been really rewarding to be a part of it. Body Worlds has been touring for 12 years, and they've never been here. They weren't quite sure there would be the demand in this market that they need to bring in an exhibit. They have been so pleased. We're actually the best performing exhibit in the United States right now for them."

Today's long lines were proof. And visitors were leaving happy. Alicia Kandell said, "It was fabulous!" Jory Provstgaard said, "I think it's a pretty fascinating event."

The 285,000-plus visitors included 24,000 students and at least one resident of every state in the country. Since Friday, even more people have had the opportunity to see the exhibit because it was open all day and all night.

"It's science, it's just fascinating. You can't get better than that," Kandell said.

The success now has The Leonardo looking forward to being on Library Square permanently as an arts and science center. "We have presented some new, brand new and very compelling plans to the city for both the renovation and upgrades to the building and our exhibits and programs plan," Davis said.

The city is reviewing those plans and will decide within the next couple of weeks if it will release the $10-million, voter-approved bond to The Leonardo.

Davis said, "I think what this has shown us and the community at large is that we are ready for both these big-market, big-city exhibits and opportunities, and that this area really is hungry for a science center."

"It's very interesting, especially with kids you can do it with the family a learning experience. I think it would be great to have something you could do," Provstgaard said.

If the plans are approved, The Leonardo says renovations would start immediately, and they'd hope to be up and running by 2010.

Along with the success of the exhibit, surrounding businesses saw a boost in customers. Several restaurants in the general vicinity that report a 30 percent increase in business since Body Worlds opened.



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Courtney Orton


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