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Workers find human skeletons while demolishing house
2005-07-27 02:34:28 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BEIJING, Jul 27 (AP) -- Workers demolishing a house in Shanghai last week made a startling discovery: seven human skeletons in the attic.

The house's former owner said the skeletons were collected by her brother when he was a medical student four decades ago, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported.

Police confiscated the bones for examination but haven't commented on the case.

The former owner, Shu Changjing, said her brother and his classmates found the bones in a cemetery. She said they remained in her attic because other students' parents objected to keeping them.

"No one has ever touched the specimens over the past 40 years and they had almost faded from our memories," Shu said.

It wasn't clear whether collecting the bones from a cemetery violated Chinese law.

"I could only say that it was not proper to do so according to the current rules," said a woman who answered the phone at the city's Health Bureau. "But that case happened a long time ago and it is really hard to tell if it is legal or not to keep skeleton samples."

Shu's brother, Shu Changyan, said he hopes to retrieve the bones from police and donate them to his former medical school, now part of Fudan University in Shanghai, according to the Shanghai Daily.

"Most samples used at present are made of plastic, which can't compare with real bone," he said.

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