Feature: Skeleton in school art department closet turns out to be human body

Feature: Skeleton in school art department closet turns out to be human body
Fecha de publicación: 
4 December 2015
Imagen principal: 

Art technician Sandra Dixon discovered the collection of bones as she re-organised the art department at Haydock High School in the Northern England town of St Helens. She decided to do some detective work.

And it was discovered that rather than being a synthetic skeleton, Arthur was the human remains of an Asian man who died in his late 20s just over a century ago.

Pupils and staff from the high school, a few kilometers outside Liverpool, gathered Thursday to give Arthur a proper burial.

Arthur began his career in the science lab before getting moved to the art department.

He was put into storage after being replaced by a new plastic skeleton but was found in a cupboard earlier this year.

Sandra Dixon thought he looked "rather worse for wear" with "yellowing honeycomb bones", leading to the discovery that the bones were real human bones.

The school laid on a funeral for Arthur after discovering that they could not dispose of the skeleton legally without a proper burial.

Students and teachers followed the hearse to a woodland burial ground where Arthur was laid to rest.

A group of young students lowered the wicker casket into the ground while roses were tossed in and tributes paid.

Funeral for Arthur the Skeleton (Photo Courtesy of Haydock High School)

Tests determined that the remains belonged to a small Asian man aged between 25 and 30 with a curvature of the spine. It is thought that Arthur was brought to Britain from India decades ago as part of a so-called skeleton trade.

Students Alex Robinson, 14, Christopher Cooper, 13, James Melia, 13, and Jack Davies, 14, were pall bearers at Arthur's funeral.

One of the students told local media today: "Arthur meant a lot to us in an educational way, even though he was in the corner, he still helped me learn."

The service, hearse and casket was given free of charge by a local funeral company.

Sandra Dixon said: "We learnt a lot from the skeleton, drawing his anatomy, then when I found him looking a state, we needed to do something about him.

"The children are just elated to have the service because he has been part of us for so long. It gives him the send off he deserves for all his years of service."




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