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Skeleton Used as Art Prop for Years Turns Out to Be Real Human Remains

His name was Arthur and he was missing a few limbs.

by Joe Goodman
02 December 2015, 5:10pm

Screenshot via Yorkshire Post

A bag of prosthetic bones, used as a prop to teach hours of art lessons, has been identified as the skeleton of a real person, the Yorkshire Post reports.

Arthur, as the bag of bones was affectionately known, had been used as a teaching prop at Haydock High School in Wigan for generations, because staff believed the skeleton was artificial. It was only after art technician Susan Dixon decided to pursue her own amateur investigation that the possibility of a more natural origin emerged.

After some dedicated digging, Dixon found that not only was the skeleton real, but the bones in question had belonged to an Indian man who died in the 1900s.

For now, the bones have been reassembled and prepared for internment, but while people inevitably start speculating about where the body came from and what was it doing in a cupboard, the question remains: will more schools start checking the provenance of their art props?