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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Adore Him or Inter Him? Corpse of Lenin Turns 71

When eternal life involves large quantities of formaldehyde, methylated spirits, glycerine and potassium acetate, and a pickled brain sliced into 30,000 pieces, many would perhaps prefer the fate of ordinary mortals.


And even if Russian historians are now free to reevaluate Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's past, his future -- or rather that of his corpse -- remains uncertain on the 71st anniversary of his death Saturday.


Shivering in a nylon wedding dress, Oksana Savurino and her husband of half an hour began their marriage Friday with a pilgrimage to Lenin's tomb.


Reverently, she placed her three orange roses in front of it. "Vladimir Ilyich holds a lot of meaning for us," she said. "Tomorrow will not only be the second day of our married life, we will also remember that it's the day he died."


As the ever-shrinking line in front of the tomb testifies, Savurino's respect for Lenin is found increasingly rarely.


Many have demanded that Lenin's corpse be buried in St. Petersburg by his mother, but so far no definite plans exist.


The Orthodox Church has voiced their support. "Lenin was baptized as a Christian," said patriarchate spokesman Alexander Balekov. "Burial is a Christian tradition and even if he lived a sinful life he should still be buried."


A more controversial question, however, lies in how much of Lenin's body is left to be buried. In a letter published posthumously in the daily Izvestia on Wednesday, Boris Khomutov, a biologist who spent more than 30 years working on Lenin's body, wrote of his doubts that the body had been adequately preserved. He said he hoped that the remains would be moved and buried.