Lenin Mausoleum to be closed almost until end of 2003

The Lenin Mausoleum will be closed for Muscovites and guests of Russia's capital for almost two months.

Head of the Russian Federal Protection Service (FSO) press-service Sergei Devyatov said, "the mausoleum will be closed for visitors from November 10 till December 29 as maintenance works will be underway." Last time the mausoleum was closed for "maintenance works" in spring 2002. Then special biochemical activities necessary to maintain the proper condition of Lenin's embalmed body were carried on.

Last time professor Yuri Denisov-Nikolsky said that Lenin's body was "in a perfect condition and if treated in a proper way it can lie in the mausoleum at least a century." The scientist stressed that all embalming technologies as well as equipment monitoring the temperature in the premises were unique achievements of the Russian science.

Lenin's body embalmed after a method by Vladimir P. Vorobyev (1876-1937) and Boris I. Zbarsky (1885-1954) has been lying in the mausoleum since 1924.

In March 1953, Stalin's embalmed body was placed near Lenin's. However, under Nikita Khrushchev in the small hours of November 1, 1961 Stalin's body was taken away from the mausoleum by a decision made at a 22nd congress of the Communist Party Central Committee and was buried behind the mausoleum near the Kremlin wall.

Lenin's mausoleum was designed by architect Alexander V. Shchusev (1873-1949). The first wooden (temporary) mausoleum opened on January 27, 1924. A final stone tomb was built in October 1930.

The Mausoleum's pyramid consists of five cuboid projections, which have different height. In 1945 a tribune was arranged on the first projection. Above the entrance, an inscription LENIN is made of red quartzite on the monolith of black labradorite.

Nowadays acting entombments of communist leaders remain only in Asia: Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925) Mausoleum in Nanjing; the Chairman Mao's (1893-1976) Mausoleum in Beijing; Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) Mausoleum in Hanoi and Kim il Sung's (1912-1994) Mausoleum in Pyongyang.

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Author`s name Editorial Team