Rest ink peace: Nonprofit preserves deceased members' tattoos

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(Photo courtesy NAPSA)

( - Talk to anyone who’s gotten a tattoo, and chances are they’ll say their ink is a meaningful work of art. In light of a reported rise in the popularity of tattoos, a Cleveland-based nonprofit for the tattoo community has announced a new service to preserve those works of art— long after the bodies that hosted them are laid to rest.

The National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art (NAPSA)— a group of tattoo enthusiasts, artists and advocates— announced Tuesday, Sept. 1 that it would start offering members the option to preserve their tattoos post mortem and designate a beneficiary for their art.

“We want to provide resources and support [our members] may not otherwise have access to,” Charles Hamm, NAPSA executive director and chairman of the group’s board, said in the news release, which references a 2012 Harris Interactive poll that suggests one in five American adults has at least one tattoo, a 14 percent increase from the Nielsen group’s 2008 survey.

According to the release, removing a tattoo from one of its member’s deceased bodies involves “a chemical and enzymatic process that permanently alters the chemical structure, thus permanently fixing it against decomposition (while preserving the integrity of the art).” The group said the final product isn’t classified as tissue and isn’t toxic.



The National Association for the Preservation of Skin Art (NAPSA), a Cleveland-based nonprofit for the tattoo community, announced earlier this month that it would begin allowing members to designate a beneficiary to see to preserving their tattoos after they die. (Photo courtesy NAPSA)