2006-01-23 10:22:00

Lenin's body can be preserved for centuries - activist

Moscow, January 23, Interfax - The Russian "technology of embalming makes it possible to keep Lenin's body in unaltered condition for another several centuries," the chief executive of a charity working for the maintenance of the Bolshevik leader's mausoleum said on Saturday, the 82nd anniversary of Lenin's death.

Vladimir Lenin's body, which lies in a granite mausoleum on Red Square, undergoes special treatment every Monday and Friday, Alexey Abramov told Interfax.

"Vladimir Ilyich's body has been in absolutely stable condition for many years, there have been no changes to the body," Abramov said.

The embalming methods developed by Russian scientists were a world-scale achievement, Abramov said. "Embalming goes back to ancient Egypt, but back then it changed the facial features of the body and the skin changed to reddish in color, while it was the achievement of our scientists that, having embalmed Lenin's body, they were able to preserve his appearance and skin color," Abramov said.

He slammed proposals to bury Lenin's body. "Both the mausoleum and the Kremlin Wall Necropolis are historical monuments of national standing, federal significance, and in 1990 they were put on the global cultural heritage list. And, when one makes statements that it is unfair that Lenin and another 400 best 20th century people of Russia - Zhukov, Gagarin, Gorky, and so on - are buried there, it is an insult to the historical memory of our people," Abramov said.

Abramov was referring to Marshal Georgy Zhukov, a World War II general, cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, the first human being in space, and writer Maxim Gorky.