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A furry homage or creepy exploitation? Nearly two years after the death of Berlin's favourite polar bear Knut, the city's natural history museum is using his pelt for a new exhibit.


The German capital's star animal attraction tragically died at the age of four in March 2011 after he drowned following a seizure in his enclosure at the Berlin Zoo.

But the bear that captured the hearts of millions after he was raised by hand as tiny cub remains immensely popular in Germany, encouraging the museum to create a full-sized Knut model covered in his own pelt.

"It's important to make clear we haven't had Knut stuffed," museum spokeswoman Gesine Steiner told the daily newspaper Bild on Tuesday. "It's an artistically valuable sculpture with the original fur."