Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s body will be ‘aquamated’ – a greener alternative to cremation


Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s body will be ‘aquamated’ – a greener alternative to cremation using water and chemicals

  • Desmond Tutu to be interred behind pulpit at St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town
  • Aquamation is said to cut amount of harmful carbon dioxide by up to 90 per cent
  • Dean of St George’s Cathedral said it was what Tutu ‘aspired to as an eco-warrior’


The body of Archbishop Desmond Tutu will be aquamated – a greener alternative to cremation using water and chemicals.

He will be interred behind the pulpit at St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, where he served as an Anglican Archbishop for 35 years.

Aquamation is said to cut the amount of harmful carbon dioxide by up to 90 per cent.

The body of Archbishop Desmond Tutu (coffin pictured at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town) will be aquamated – a greener alternative to cremation using water and chemicals

The ‘environmentally friendly’ process involves heating the body in a mixture of potassium hydroxide and water for up to 90 minutes leaving only the bones.

These are then rinsed in the solution at 120C (248F), dried and pulverised into ashes.

The Dean of St George’s Cathedral, the Very Reverend Michael Weeder, said it was what Archbishop Tutu ‘aspired to as an eco-warrior’.

He died on Boxing Day aged 90. Before his death, the anti-apartheid campaigner had insisted there should be ‘no ostentatiousness or lavish spending’ on the ceremony.

Desmond Tutu (pictured) will be interred behind the pulpit at St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, where he served as an Anglican Archbishop for 35 years

Desmond Tutu (pictured) will be interred behind the pulpit at St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, where he served as an Anglican Archbishop for 35 years

He wanted ‘the cheapest available coffin’ with only ‘a bouquet of carnations from his family’, according to the Archbishop Tutu IP Trust and the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.

His burial is expected to take place this weekend though it is not yet known if this will be a private or public ceremony.

Thousands of South Africans have paid their last respects at St George’s Cathedral where his body had been lying in state with some even hitchhiking across the country to visit.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk