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The Boston Globe

Metro

Louis Agassiz exhibit divides Harvard, Swiss group

The 19th-century Swiss-born naturalist Louis Agassiz was a revered figure at Harvard University. He was also a racist who commissioned humiliating photographs of slaves and Brazilian natives.

A century and a half after their creation, the images still haunt: daguerreotypes and photos of people stripped ­naked and displayed like specimens. To Agassiz, the images were evidence for his belief that human races sprang from different biological origins.

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