If one believes in the story about Tutankhamun’s Curse, then it is only a matter of time before Dr. Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s head of antiquities, finds out if the enormous love and care with which he orchestrated the preservation work around Egypt’s legendary ruler were accepted by The Golden Boy. I have a strong feeling that King Tut will be pleased. There is a much less savoury aspect to the story, an aspect that might indeed raise Tutankhamun’s ire. It has to do with the fascination with which the world stood to watch the face of the 3000 years old Egyptian monarch on TV.
The feeling that necrography is as objectable as pornography is further evident in the shocking story about pictures of the late Lucky Dube’s body, probably taken at a mortuary, floating online.
There must be thousands of stories to support the notion that we, humans, have a very long history of fascination with death. Consider tourist attractions like the Capela dos Ossos – 16th Century Chapel of Bones in Evora, Portugal, or the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo, Sicily. Recently, we celebrate the death related holidays of Halloween / All Saints / All Souls Day. Thanatology, the study of death, is a fully recognised academic discipline (usually associated with medical studies, such as Nursing.
Necrography, however, has no scientific merit. It appears to be gratuitously satisfying the primal need to safely observe death in its starkest form. Necrographers, just like Pornographers, show neither respect of, nor consideration for, the bodies they ogle.
The despicable disrespect shown to Lucky Dube is probably a clear case for Tutankhamun’s wrath to be unleashed. Necrographers, beware.