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Art, she says, can help remind us that “death is part of life and not simply a void into which we drop.”

Harris says he does not know the value of his collection, which numbers some 2,000 items and is still growing. His latest purchase, sadly not on display in London, is a 1969 Chevrolet Impala adorned with Day of the Dead motifs.

“My wife,” he said, “has been very understanding and very patient.”

He hopes to take his collection on tour around the world.

“All the world needs, in my mind, to promote the conversation and the dialogue about death,” he said. “It is an event that is going to happen to all of us, whether we like it or not.”

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Online: http://www.wellcomecollection.org/

Jill Lawless can be reached at http://Twitter.com/JillLawless