Lenin may be reburied at new cemetery near Moscow

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Moscow, Feb 21 (UNI) Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin may be reburied at a new cemetery, currently being built in the Moscow Region.

Lenin's body has been on public display in a glass sarcophagus in a mausoleum near Red Square since his death in 1924.

The opponents of Russian Communist Party have from time to time raised the demand to take out the body from Lenin mausoleum and rebury it in St Petersburg.

Former President Boris Yeltsin had vowed to rebury Lenin's body, but he could not do it fearing a blacklash from the communists.

President Vladimir Putin, unlike his predecessor Mr Yeltsin, has been cautious about the issue, fearing a split and civil unrest in society.

During his eight-year reign as President, Mr Putin has reinstated many Soviet symbols, including the Red Star for the military and the Soviet national anthem, albeit with different words.

The idea of Lenin's reburial at a memorial complex currently built to the north of Moscow has been discussed at an official level, the cemetery's art director and sculptor Sergei Goryaev said, the tabloid Zhizn reported.

Goryaev said the final decision on the issue has yet to be taken, adding that other important Russian and Soviet historical figures could be also reburied at the complex.

The memorial complex, a counterpart of the famed Arlington National Cemetery in the US, is expected to be unveiled in 2010. It has over 53 hectares of space for more than 30,000 graves.

Mr Putin signed the decree on its construction in 2001.

UNI XC SKB RN1903

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