17:25 GMT +3 hours28 November 2014
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Russia's economic crisis forces Lenin to wear old suit

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The ongoing economic crisis has already had an effect on everyone in Russia, from oligarchs to humble office workers, and now even Lenin in his Red Square mausoleum has felt the pinch.
MOSCOW, April 21 (RIA Novosti) - The ongoing economic crisis has already had an effect on everyone in Russia, from oligarchs to humble office workers, and now even Lenin in his Red Square mausoleum has felt the pinch.

On the eve of the 139th anniversary of the birth of the leader of the Bolshevik Revolution, financial difficulties mean that Lenin will be forced to continue wearing an old suit for the sixth straight year, the Trud newspaper said on Tuesday.

Lenin's embalmed body has been on public display in a glass case in the mausoleum since his death following a series of strokes in 1924.

Tuesday saw the reopening of the mausoleum to the public after two months of maintenance work, during which Lenin's corpse was bathed in special preserving fluids.

"This is a unique technology," Yury Denisov-Nikolski, the vice-director of the scientific research institute that carried out the work, told the paper. "Thanks to it, Lenin will be able to lie here for another hundred years."

However, the expert also bemoaned the lack of government funding for the mausoleum.

"The state hasn't allocated a single kopek since 1992. Everything is held together by the Lenin Mausoleum foundation and donors," he said. "On top of this, the crisis has struck hard. How can we change his suit in these economic conditions?"

Lenin's suits are traditionally ordered from Switzerland and made of the finest materials. A new one is usually purchased every three years.

The Soviet leader's continuing presence in the heart of Moscow has been an ongoing source of controversy since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

However, a senior Kremlin official recently said that there was no need no move Lenin from his resting place on Red Square, and that any attempt to do so could have serious consequences.

"The recent blast at the Lenin statue in St. Petersburg led, as you know, to protests. Just imagine for a minute what would happen if we were to try to move Lenin's body," Vladimir Kozhin, head of the Kremlin property management department, told the Tribuna paper.

A St. Petersburg monument of the communist leader was badly damaged earlier this month by an explosion that ripped a large hole in the statue. The 10-meter high bronze figure was subsequently taken down for repair work.