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Author Topic: Torture thru the ages exhibit  (Read 3129 times)

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Torture thru the ages exhibit
« on: Nov 14, 01, 08:47:06 am CST »

The tropicana casino hotel in atlantic city nj has a torture exhibit on display. I'm trying to find out more about it.
here's a blurb on it:

and here's an old article clipping:

Torture Exhibit Draws the Curious to Atlantic City, N.J., Casino
By Thomas J. Brady, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Aug. 30--From the Crucifixion through the Inquisition and the Holocaust up to the present, history is replete with examples of torture, done primarily in the name of religion and politics.

The subject of torture attracts enough interest for the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City to have brought "Torture Through the Ages, An Exhibit" to its Grand Exhibition Center for a three-month run that ends Sunday.

"The exhibit had been very successful in San Diego, and in Japan, and around the world," said Joe Maude, head of the Maude Group L.L.C., executive producer of the exhibit. "So as a businessperson, I was drawn to that."

Although the Tropicana would not provide attendance figures, Maude said the exhibit had attracted 400 to 900 people a day. Admission ranges from $13.95 for adults to $6.95 for children.

The "net effect of the exhibit is to educate people on how intolerance leads to torture," he said.

Beginning in the 17th century, there were even special tortures for unethical businessmen, shopkeepers, debtors and illegal gamblers.

For dishonest businessmen, public humiliation included "ne'er-do-well" necklaces with huge iron coins. Gamblers were forced to wear large wooden dice and playing cards around their necks. Poachers were decked out with chains festooned with the cadavers of their ill-gotten prey.

A dishonest businessman also was subject to a stool that repeatedly dunked him under water.

But wealth had its privileges even then, especially for those slated for execution. The ax and block were favored by the wealthy, who could afford a skilled executioner likely to produce little pain.

Items on display in Atlantic City include a guillotine, an interrogation chair, an iron maiden, a knee splitter, a hanging cage or highwayman's coffin, head crushers, and thumbscrews.

Maude said Tropicana officials expressed interest in presenting the exhibit after seeing a similar but smaller show at the San Diego Museum of Man. He said the artifacts -- about 100 of which are in Atlantic City -- have their permanent homes among private collections in Europe and at the Medieval Criminal Museum in San Gimignano in Siena, Italy.

Melinda Newsome, director of development at the San Diego Museum of Man, said that although the museum did not break out figures on individual programs, "the torture exhibit has doubled our attendance."

Tourists in London queue up for similar displays on torture and horror at both Madame Tussaud's and the London Dungeon. Madame Tussaud's Chamber of Horrors, which opened in 1996, and the Dungeon, which also has branches in Edinburgh, Hamburg and York, remain very popular destinations, representatives of each attraction said this week.

"For some people, the lure of torture would be curiosity," said Mary Anne Layden, director of education at the Center for Cognitive Therapy in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

"Some people are just interested in history, as they would be interested in studying war. There are other people for whom torture has psychiatric meanings and outcomes that they don't have for the rest of us."

On Monday, a steady stream of Atlantic City visitors came in from the sunshine -- and the bright lights of the casino -- to see the museumlike exhibit , which has artifacts dating from the 14th century to the present. As part of the exhibit's "experiential design," the muffled sound of Gregorian chants, dripping water and a misty haze are meant to suggest the dank atmosphere of the milieus in which torture might have occurred.

The exhibit is endorsed by both the United Nations and Amnesty International. Georgina Shanley, Cape May coordinator for Amnesty International, has been staffing a booth at the end of the exhibit at which she collects signatures on petitions calling for an end to torture.

Among those attending this week were Arthur and Karen Musialowicz of Linden, N.J., with their three sons and a nephew, ages 2 through 6. (Parental discretion is advised for children under 13, who must be accompanied by an adult.)

"This is part of history, whether we like it or not. All of this did happen," said Musialowicz, manager of a credit union. He did say that for the sake of the children, he was only reading them excerpts from some of the exhibits.

Another visitor, Eydie Adams, a secretary from Doylestown, said she was intrigued by the exhibit's art reproductions. "I remember them from art history in college," she said, adding that she especially liked the Hieronymus Bosch paintings.

Tome Wilson, a Web site designer and illustrator from Mantua in Gloucester County, said he was interested in seeing some of the artifacts because he writes stories of horror and the supernatural.

"This stuff fascinates me. It's great seeing these instruments up close."

-----To see more of The Philadelphia Inquirer, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.philly.com

(c) 2001, The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.


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Torture thru the ages exhibit
« Reply #1 on: Nov 14, 01, 12:59:13 pm CST »

And me on the other side of the country (practically)! Damn!!!

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Torture thru the ages exhibit
« Reply #2 on: Nov 14, 01, 09:39:45 pm CST »

If we go can we play with the cool toys???? I know a few people i would like to play with, with these toys.;)
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Torture thru the ages exhibit
« Reply #3 on: Nov 15, 01, 10:21:24 am CST »

oooh! i saw that in july there! it was sooo cool! kinda gross though... weak stomachs beware!

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Torture thru the ages exhibit
« Reply #4 on: Nov 15, 01, 01:35:42 pm CST »

T'artagnon is down there, but I have lots of things to do this weekend, so I won't be able to go!!!

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