New Culture Minister Proposes Burying Lenin

Russia’s culture minister suggested on Saturday burying the body of former Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin and turning his Moscow mausoleum into a museum, but warned that it was only his “private opinion.”

Speaking to Ekho Moskvy radio, Vladimir Medinsky said it was “absurd” that the Bolshevik revolutionary’s embalmed body was still on public display by the Kremlin walls.

The founder of the Soviet state has been in his tomb since his death in 1924.

“The body of any person should be laid to rest, as has been from time immemorial,” Medinsky, who replaced Alexander Avdeyev as Culture Minister in a government reshuffle last month, told the radion sation, adding that “all rituals” pertaining to the burial of a state figure should be observed.

“Maybe something would change for the better in our lives then,” he said.

The debate about what to do with Lenin’s body has been going on ever since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. Last year, the administration of then President Dmitry Medvedev said the decision whether to remove Lenin’s body rested with the nation’s “political leadership.”

But Medinsky on Saturday insisted that mausoleum was an “indispensable part of the ensemble of Red Square.”

“It should remain, and perhaps be turned into a museum of something,” he said. “Attendance would be high.”


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