Under usual circumstances, Lenin’s clothes are changed every 3 – 4 years, to keep the old boy fresh. However, one report sensationally revealed that the last time Lenin’s clothes were changed was in 2003. High time for some new ones then, but alas the funds just won’t stretch to it. Another paper reported that, Yuri Denisov-Nikol’skii, vice director of the scientific-institute of medicine and plants, the organisation that maintains the mausoleum, had said:
'the government has not given a single kopeck to the organisation since 1992. Since then, [upkeep of Lenin’s body] has been funded by the fund of the Mausoleum… under such financial conditions, what kind of change of clothes can we expect?’
And yet, when questioned on the matter, Denisov-Nikol’skii had no memory whatsoever of making such a comment. Then, when, the sleuths at Sun-style tabloid, ‘Komsomolskaya Pravda’ investigated further, they were informed that Lenin’s clothes were changed approximately every ten years, when the embalming oils had to be reapplied. Lenin’s niece was not impressed by the furore:
‘Lenin’s clothes not to be changed because of the crisis? My goodness, what utter nonsense! I have visited his body several times and everything is in order… why is everyone always having a go at Vladimir Il’yich?’
Why all the fuss then? Is this a conspiracy on the part of disgruntled communists to disgrace the government? Another Lenin-based prank, a la blowing up his statue in St Petersburg? Or simply a way to grab some attention on Lenin’s birthday? We wouldn’t want to forget him now.