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BERLIN (AP) - Adorable in life, still attracting admirers in death: Knut the polar bear's hide has been mounted on a polyurethane body and is going on display in a Berlin museum.

The Natural History Museum on Friday unveiled the statue prepared by taxidermists featuring the famous Berlin Zoo bear's fur and claws, with the synthetic body and glass eyes.

The display runs through March 15. Knut will then be added to the museum's scientific collections.

Knut was hand-raised after his mother rejected him. He rose to stardom in 2007 as a cuddly cub, appearing on magazine covers, in a film and on mountains of merchandise. He died in 2011 after suffering from encephalitis.

The museum dismissed criticism of the decision to display Knut, saying it gives everyone an opportunity to see him.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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