Museum of Sin – Tambov, Russia - Atlas Obscura

Tambov, Russia

Museum of Sin

A home-made anatomical collection of medical anomalies and accidental catastrophes.  

Working in a morgue for 35 years can leave you with some strong opinions. Yuri Shchukin has amassed a ghastly collection of disfigured corpses and put them on display in his Museum of Sin, in hopes of warning people against giving into a range of dangerous vices.

“This is a place where the dead teach the living.” So says the (Latin) inscription at the exhibit’s entrance, alerting visitors to pay attention to the tragedies they are about to encounter. Among them are the amputated hip of a young man who, trying to attract women, gave himself both a tattoo and gangrene; the severed finger of an unfaithful husband, whose ring got stuck in a rail as he tried to leave his lover’s house. Embryos who, from their drinking and drug-using mothers, have two heads, or eyes instead of ears. Most memorably, perhaps, is the seven-centimeter “horn” that grew on the head of a burglar, after he was whacked by the homeowner he was robbing.

Shchukin isn’t concerned about coming off as judgmental. “Every individual is responsible for his or her actions, and my collection is a vivid proof of it,” he has been quoted as saying. Whether you want to see these grisly sights is up to you, too.

Know Before You Go

Located in the Tambov State University Medical Department. Visits are by appointment only.

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