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USA: Harvard to remove human skin binding from 1800s book

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ΗΠΑ: Το ΧΑρβαρ ντ θα αφαιρεσει το δεσιμο απo ανθ&rho ;oπινο δeρμα απo το βιβλiο του 1800

The first owner of the volume, the French doctor Ludovic Bouland, then bound the book with human skin from a dead patient

Harvard University said it will remove the human skin binding from a 19th-century book held in its library because of its “moral nature”.

The book, called Des Destinées de l’Ame (or Destinies of the Soul), has been kept at the university's Houghton Library since the 1930s, but gained international attention in 2014 when tests confirmed it was bound in human skin.< /p>

On Wednesday, however, the university said that after “careful study, stakeholder engagement and consideration” it would remove the human skin binding and work with authorities to “determine a final and respectful disposition of these human remains.”< /p>

The book was written by Arsène Houssaye, a French novelist, in the mid-1880s as a meditation on the nature of having a soul and the afterlife. The first owner of the volume, the French doctor Ludovic Bouland, then bound the book in human skin. Harvard said Buland took the skin from a dead female patient at a hospital where he worked, without consent.

In the past, Harvard students engaged in page collections in the library were subjected to a murky ritual where they were asked to retrieve the book without being told that it was covered in human remains.

Confirmation of the book's strange binding in 2014 was, at the time, treated more lightly by Harvard.


The university called the discovery “good news for anthropodermal book lovers, bibliophiles and cannibals”.

Anthropodermal book binding is the practice of binding books in human skin, which has seen great popularity in the 19th century, but which has occurred since at least the 1500s.

Harvard has now announced that it regrets the “upset, morbid and humorous tone” in which the discovery was announced.

source: newsbomb.gr

Source: 24h.com.cy

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