London, June 5 : Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev has said that the embalmed body of Russian revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin should be moved from its mausoleum in Red Square and given a standard burial.
Lenin's body has been on public display in a glass case since his death in 1924. His continuing presence in the symbolic heart of Moscow has been a source of controversy since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Gorbachev said yesterday that it was time to consider burying the body of Vladimir Lenin, as the Bolshevik revolutionary's family had wanted.
But Gorbachev gave no indication of when the corpses of Lenin and other Soviet leaders would be removed from the Kremlin.
"One day we will come to see no cemetery or Lenin's body near the Kremlin Wall. He should be committed to the ground," The Times quoted Gorbachev, as saying.
"I think this will happen. Time will tell," he added.
The mausoleum used to attract long lines of visitors during Soviet times as school parties, tour groups, and true believers queued up to pay their respects to a figure elevated to almost mythical status through party propaganda.
Boris Yeltsin ended the tradition of changing the Kremlin honour guard each hour outside the mausoleum. But neither he nor Vladimir Putin were willing to order Lenin's burial.
Gorbachev had previously opposed moves to bury Lenin, saying in 2005 "this moment has not come yet." The Communists threatened then to mount a campaign of civil disobedience against attempts to bury Lenin.