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The Mausoleum is Closed for Two Months as Lenin gets an Extreme Makeover.

20.02.2015 Posted in Lifestyle No Comments

(KRT) MOSCOW — Vladimir Lenin has been dead these 80 years, but the founder of Soviet communism has never looked better. Just ask his curator.* “He looks quite fine, as good as he did 30 years ago,” said Yuri Denisov-Nikolsky, the Russian doctor who just supervised an extensive makeover of Lenin’s corpse. “He looked terrible when he died, but what you see now is Lenin’s face, not someone else’s.” Denisov-Nikolsky has been working on Lenin since 1970, and in a rare interview he pulled back the shroud of secrecy surrounding the body, its original embalming and its periodic makeovers. When Lenin died of a stroke and heart attack on Jan. 21, 1924, his widow said he’d wished to be buried next to his mother in a simple cemetery plot. But the communist elite had other ideas. They originally planned to freeze their beloved leader, but his body began to deteriorate badly as a super-freezer was being built. Instead, using an untested chemical process, Lenin was embalmed and his skin carefully treated to preserve a lifelike appearance. He’s entombed in a granite-and-marble mausoleum in Red Square. The body is sealed in a glass sarcophagus, cooled to 61 degrees, with the humidity between 80 and 90 percent. Some say Lenin appears to be sleeping. Others compare him to waxed fruit. With the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian government stopped financing the preservation of the body, Denisov-Nikolsky said. Private donations pay the meager salaries of his 15-person staff at a research […]