Bury Joseph Merrick, it is a disgrace to his memory to keep him on display

Bury Joseph Merrick, it is a disgrace to his memory to keep him on display

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Joseph Merrick, better known by his exhibit name 'The Elephant Man' lived his life with extreme deformities to his body, which caused him unimaginable pain and difficulty, especially in the unforgiving period he lived in.

The only job he could manage to hold was touring with a freak show, and although he was payed well in return for his dignity, he openly expressed his desire to live life as a normal person, he longed for a partner to love, he wrote poetry in his letters and read books, and was described by those who spent the time to converse as a well-educated man. Yet, he could never escape his condition.

In his later years he would occasionally spend time in the countryside, one of his interests being wild flowers, but his condition confined him to hospital for most of his days, until he eventually died of asphyxiation, Frederick Treves, who carried out the autopsy came to the conclusion that Merrick had died trying to sleep lying down, rather than in his usual sitting position, in order to feel more human.

Queen Mary University of London now keep Merrick's skeleton in a private viewing room, accessible only to students, this required Merrick's body to be dissected, the flesh stripped from his bones, in direct contrast to Merrick's own wishes of a Christian burial. 

This is why, after 129 years in display, we believe it is only right and moral that those responsible for keeping Merrick at Queen Mary University and Bart's and the London School of Medicine return Merrick's skeleton to his home town of Leicester to be buried like a human, not kept on display as he was his whole life like an animal.