National Geographic has sparked fury after launching a series on its television channel about excavating war graves on the Eastern Front from World War Two.
The programme, called Nazi War Diggers, is to be aired on 13 May and is about "a race against time to get the history from the ground before it's lost forever."
According to the Daily Mail, a video showing the show's presenters extracting body parts from the ground in Latvia appeared on the TV channel's website. This has now been removed.
National Geographic said: "Unfortunately, a video excerpt from our show posted on our website did not provide important context about our team's methodology."
Tony Pollard, director of the Center for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow, told the New York Times: "I have never seen such a casual and improper attitude toward the treatment of human remains. It makes me shiver."
One TV Wise reader commented: "It's also a desecration of war graves for entertainment."
Another said: "This is not an archaeological series as is claimed. It is a grave-robbing series. I saw a clip in which the 'team of four' rip a human femur out of the ground and confuse it with a humerus. It is a disgusting display that should not be aired on television."
On its website, National Geographic said: "All of the excavation featured in the series, including handling of human remains, was supervised by representatives from these organizations, which act under the authority of their country's government and are also backed by the official German and Russian war graves commissions."
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