Rumors are flying around of FIFA confirming that Pele’s family will donate his feet to a museum. However, are these rumors factually backed, scientifically possible, and even legal?
Will you be able to see Pele’s feet in a museum soon?
Brazilian soccer player Pele died on 29 December 2022 at the age of 82, after battling colon cancer. According to reports, Pelé moved to end-of-life care in early December. His home country announced a 3-day mourning period in respect of the legendary player. Tributes also poured in from fans around the world as they offered their condolences. However, a stifling rumor of Pele’s feet is making rounds on the internet.
- According to some enthusiastic fans, FIFA is planning to display Pele’s feet in a museum. And surprisingly, his family has given their consent. However, the rumors are absolutely false, as confirmed by the spokesperson of FIFA. If you already made plans to visit Pele’s feet in a museum, time to reassess them!
- The original post cites TNT Sports Brazil as a source. However, there might be some links with the 2021 auction of the Pele foundation.
What soccer fan wouldn't want a gold cast bronze sculpture (by Dante Mortet) of Pelé's left foot?
📸 Julien's Auctions (current bid £2,750)
Benefits the Pelé Foundation charity ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/JHdzGDWP9x
— Popdiatry (@Popdiatry) September 16, 2021
What might have caused these rumors?
After doing some basic research of finding the truth about Pele’s feet, we came across old articles about an auction based in London of various Pele memorabilia organized by the Pele Foundation in 2021. The auction lists 300 items to help in COVID-19 relief, including a signed 18-carat gold-plated cast of Pele’s foot.
- Julien’s Auction lists Pele personally commissioned world-class Roman sculpturer Dante Mortet for this item. A silicone cast of Pele’s left foot was created. Then, the wax was poured into it for the base. It was converted into bronze from the antique technique of casting, chiseled, and completed with gold plating. This golden foot is 9 1/2 inches long by 3 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches tall and is marked with Dante Mortet’s signature at the back of the heel.
- As for speculation, this previous artifact might be causing current rumors, although the only thing confirmed is that the rumor is false. Nevertheless, it quickly threw soccer fans into a frenzy of discussions regarding the necessity to go to this extent for respecting the legendary player.
what's the essence of Pele's feet at the museum tho?
— ' (@mumbu_a2) January 2, 2023
Fans’ reactions to rumors about Pele’s Feet
After Pele’s tragic passing, everyone expressed their respect and condolences for the star in various ways. Brazil’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue lit up in colors green and yellow to honor the late legend for his heroics for the Brazilian national team.
He won 3 World Cups while playing for Brazil. Even the national team paid homage to him in their match against South Korea at the 2022 World Cup. However, the thought of keeping his feet as important as they are in a FIFA museum sounds bizarre.
- Fans’ of the legendary player expressed their uncertainty about the rumors through the internet. Many prompted that there must be a different approach or ways to honor the soccer legend Pele. Many expressed shock and concerns about his feet getting separated from his body. However, that prompts the question if it is scientifically possible and legally allowed to display someone’s organs after their demise.
There is no way they are cutting Pele's feet off to keep in a museum is there? Is there??
— Chris (@Kristov086) December 30, 2022
Can we display organs after someone’s demise?
Caitlin Doughty, a mortician published a book titled Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? answering curious questions about death. Within the book, she answers two questions related to body preservation post-death, first is preserving the body in amber like a prehistoric insect.
- The prehistoric insects mixed with tree raisins due to natural assurance. Most of these broke apart due to environmental conditions and only some remain. Doing that to humans will be very Jurassic Park-ish and not legal.
- Another section of the book mentions Body Worlds’ exhibition consisting of human and animal corpses. The exhibition starting from Tokyo toured the US in 2004. People volunteered for preservation after death and Gunther von Hagens made it possible. However, all of the structures are anonymous.
The rumor of Pele’s feet displaying in a FIFA museum with his family’s consent is false. This is not to be confused with the time he donated a gold-plated cast before. Lastly, it is possible to preserve the structure of an entire human or an organ, but it is not the most favored choice especially for respecting the feet of a great legend.
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