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20 Jun, 2019 12:00

Vietnam calls in Russian experts to help preserve Ho Chi Minh’s body

Vietnam calls in Russian experts to help preserve Ho Chi Minh’s body

Vietnam has called on the expertise of four Russian scientists to help preserve the embalmed body of former Communist leader Ho Chi Minh.

Ho’s body was first embalmed after his death, almost 50 years ago, and resides in a glass coffin in a Hanoi mausoleum where it attracts thousands of visitors each year.

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A special council of Vietnamese and Russian specialists will gather next month to assess the condition of his remains and figure out the best “technical methods and plans” to continue to preserve Ho’s body, a government decision read. Embalmed bodies require occasional re-embalming and the upkeep can be expensive.  

A number of countries have embalmed their leaders thanks to help from the then-Soviet Union’s ‘Lenin Lab,’ which embalmed Vladimir Lenin after his death in 1924. Russian experts helped embalm Ho soon after his death in 1969, and specialists have continued to help Hanoi preserve the leader.

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Russia used to keep the production of the chemical cocktail secret, but Vietnamese scientists reportedly now know how to carry out the process.

Curiously, Ho didn’t want to be displayed in a mausoleum and said in his will that he wished to be cremated and have his ashes buried in north, central and south Vietnam.

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