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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Keep Your Friends Close

Artist Robert Lenkiewicz carried out the final wishes of his friend Edwin McKenzie (alias Diogenes) when he died in 1984, and embalmed him as a "work of art."

The search for Diogenes’ body became a long-running farce as Lenkiewicz refused to tell officials from Plymouth City Council where it was kept. Yesterday Nigel Meadows, the Plymouth Coroner, revealed that Lenkiewicz had been as good as his word.

The body was found in a concealed drawer in a cupboard at Lenkiewicz’s Barbican studio ten days after the artist’s death. [Link]
The coroner afterwards allowed Lenkiewicz's heirs custody of the body.
Mr Meadows said the executor of the Lenkiewicz estate could have the body cremated or transferred to the Lenkiewicz Foundation, the charity responsible for the artist's paintings and books.

He said it would be up to the foundation to decide what to do with the body.

But he continued: "Provided they comply with health and safety regulations and don't outrage public decency it is possible that they could retain the body on some sort of public display." [Link]
Diogenes has yet to make a public appearance.

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