Vladimir Lenin’s body is nearly 146 years old, but it doesn’t look a day over 53.
Russian scientists have kept the Soviet leader, whose embalmed body is on display in a mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square, carefully preserved since his death in 1924. This year, the Russian government will spend up to 13 million rubles of federal funds, or about $198,000, to maintain the corpse, according toa notice published Tuesday on the country’s procurement agency’s website. The agency says it has contracted a supplier of “biomedical work for the conservation of Vladimir Lenin’s image,” but did not provide a name for the supplier.
Russian scientists have spent 92 years keeping Lenin’s body in good shape, adding a fresh coat of embalming fluids every other year, according to Scientific American’s Jeremy Hsu, a weeks-long “process that involves submerging the body in separate solutions of glycerol solution baths, formaldehyde, potassium acetate, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, acetic acid solution and acetic sodium.
Russian state-run polls show the majority of Russians believe Lenin’s body should be removed from display and buried. But Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Lenin should stay put, and likened the Soviet leader’s mausoleum to displays of relics of Orthodox saints in monasteries.
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