Claim: A Berlin restaurant plans to offer meals made from human body parts.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, August 2010]
Is this true?
“Berlin ‘cannibal’ restaurant asks for donors to donate body parts which are then prepared and eaten by the dining party.”
In August 2010 news about the impending opening of a restaurant in Germany shocked the sensibilities of many around the world. According to Der Spiegel, a weekly magazine with a circulation in excess of
A menu listing traditional Brazilian dishes (with the protein component described only as “meat”) was posted to Flimé’s web site, but the location of the planned restaurant was not.
Although many news outlets that picked up the story (including Der Spiegel) were skeptical of the putative plans to open a cannibal restaurant of no given location, others repeated the item as if it was verified fact. Which, of course, it was not.
After allowing the press chew on the story for a week, on
The stunt had been dreamed up a year previous by the German ad agency Serviceplan, with VEBU’s participation. Serviceplan placed fake ads in German newspapers calling for donations of human limbs; set up a website complete with a PDF form through which prospective donors could answer questions about their blood type, body mass index, and health history;
and even established an auction on eBay for human liver pâté. (Before eBay twigged to the presence of the auction and shut it down, bids of $1,000 for that “delicacy” had been recorded.)
VEBU director Sebastian Zoesch stated that he received phone calls and
Taboos against eating one’s own are universal, which is why cannibalism is such an attractive topic for hoaxsters, prank artists, or those looking to draw attention to their particular causes or artistic endeavors. In 2001, photos of a Chinese man chowing down on what appeared to be a
Barbara “got their
goat duck” Mikkelson
Last updated: 6 September 2010
Connolly, Kate. “Cannibal Restaurant Adverts Turn German Stomachs.” The Guardian. 26 August 2010. Keller, Karen. “Berlin Cannibal Restaurant Revealed As Hoax.” AOL.News. 5 September 2010. Roberts, Laura. “Berlin ‘Cannibal’ Restaurant Calls for Diners to Donate Body Parts for Menu.” The Daily Telegraph . 27 August 2010. Der Spiegel. “Cannibal Restaurant Has Berliners Disgusted.” 26 August 2010. The Local. “Vegetarian Activists Dupe Media with ‘Cannibal Eatery’ Hoax.” 2 September 2010. UPI. “Restaurant Seeks Donations of Human Flesh.” 27 August 2010.