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Russia unveils cost of keeping Lenin on display

The Russian government has revealed it will spend $200,000 every year to keep the body of its first Communist leader Vladimir Lenin's body on display.

Lenin has lain in state in a mausoleum off Red Square in Moscow since his death in 1924 -- despite reportedly writing in his will that he wished to be buried.

A notice on the State Procurement Agency website published earlier this week said the amount will be used to carry out work of a "biomedical nature" and that the bill will be charged to the federal budget.

In January this year, an online poll of 8,465 people conducted by Russian tabloid, Komsomolskaya Pravda, voted nearly 2 to 1 in favor of burying Lenin.

After that poll, Tass news agency reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin appealed for calm on the matter.

"The way I see it, this issue [of discussing the question of the body's reburial] should be approached with utmost care so as to avoid taking any steps that might split society. On the contrary, society is to be consolidated," Putin said.

The cost of admission to see Lenin's preserved body is free but queues for a 60-second look are often long, suggesting the dead communist generates strong tourist dollar for the city.


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