Paolo Gorini (January 18, 1813 – February 2, 1881) was an Italian scientist, geologist, teacher and researcher.
The museum was inaugurated in 1981 by the pathologist Antonio Allegri and is housed in the old Chapter House of the Ospedale Vecchio of Lodi.
The collection is a remarkable historical and scientific record of the activities one of one important nineteenth century scientist.
To fully understand the work of Gorini, that can be easily confused with a horror theatre, it’s important to understand the historical context, between Romanticism, Risorgimento and Positivism (and with it, the experimental method).
Dead bodies preservation was a very common practice. At that time, there were no refrigerators. Not being able to preserve bodies in a less cumbersome way, continually were conducted studies to develop new techniques. The need to preserve such material had different cultural roots and many instrumental uses: forensic science, natural museums, artists, educational purposes, funeral homes, etc..
“Born in Pavia, he moved to Lodi in 1834 as physics lecturer in the local Lyceum. Here he achieved noteworthy discoveries about organic substances. After the Five Days of Milan, he had to flee to Switzerland, where he continued his studies in geology. Back in Lodi, in 1871 he published Sull’origine del vulcani (“On the Origin of Volcanoes”) and in 1872 he became famous for the embalming of the bodies of Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Rovani. In 1878, Professor Gorini was commissioned by the Cremation Society of Great Britain to construct the cremator at Woking Crematorium in England.” [Wikipedia]