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13:08 GMT +3 hours19 December 2014
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Soviet Death Masks Go on Show in Moscow

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On the night of January 21, 1924, sculptor Sergei Merkurov was packed into a horse-drawn carriage on a secret assignment. Shivering in the -30 degrees Celsius cold, he still didn't realize where he was going as the carriage pulled into Vladimir Lenin's estate outside Moscow.

MOSCOW, June 7 (Joy Neumeyer, The Moscow News) – On the night of January 21, 1924, sculptor Sergei Merkurov was packed into a horse-drawn carriage on a secret assignment. Shivering in the -30 degrees Celsius cold, he still didn't realize where he was going as the carriage pulled into Vladimir Lenin's estate outside Moscow.

It was only when he saw Lenin lying in bed, dead after his fourth stroke, that he realized the task before him.

"You were planning to sculpt a bust of Lenin," whispered Nadezhda Krupskaya, Lenin's widow. "Now you must make a mask."

This plaster cast of Lenin's visage – along with his hands, one permanently clenched following the second stroke that paralyzed his right side – marks the beginning of "Masks Shock," a new exhibit at Gorki Leninskiye, Lenin's estate-turned-museum.

Read more in The Moscow News.

 

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Vladimir Lenin