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22 Apr, 2009 05:51

No new outfit for Lenin’s birthday

The body of Vladimir Lenin, which lies in a public mausoleum in Red Square, usually gets a new suit every few years - but tough times mean he's going without new clothes for his 139th birthday.

His tomb has just re-opened to visitors after two months of repairs.

Lenin was due for some new tailoring because the delicate material used to make the suit is worn down quickly by the strong preservatives used on Lenin’s body.

Still, whatever he wears, there's no doubt that he is one of Moscow's main tourist attractions.

Debate also rages over whether his body should remain such a publicly iconic symbol at all. Along with those who say he should be laid to rest and consigned to history, there are still those for whom Lenin's body remains an ideological emblem.