A Spanish university is investigating how dozens of bodies donated to medical science came to be piled up in a campus cellar following a newspaper's publication of grotesque images of the remains dumped in what resembled a chamber of horrors.
A statement from Madrid Complutense University said the bodies had been due for incineration as their use in research had ended but that spending cuts had caused delays.
It said it was an isolated occurrence and that the newspaper was distorting reality.
The university said the bodies had been treated with formaldehyde and mummified and posed no health risk.
Photo and video images in El Mundo newspaper showed the discarded body parts, some not covered by sheets, piled on shelves and tables.
The paper said there were 250 bodies and many had been there for years. It said some were kept in a refrigerated room, and compared the images to a mass grave.
It described the smell as unbearable.
University spokeswoman Margot Almazan said she could not comment on the issue until the investigation was completed.
The university said it had arranged with a funeral company for the bodies to be removed this week.