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Mummies calling for Lenin burial arrested on Red Square

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Riot police on Wednesday detained some 30 people dressed as mummies, who attempted to gather on Moscow's Red Square calling for the burial of Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin, a police spokesman said.
MOSCOW, January 21 (RIA Novosti) - Riot police on Wednesday detained some 30 people dressed as mummies, who attempted to gather on Moscow's Red Square calling for the burial of Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin, a police spokesman said.

On Wednesday Russia celebrates the 85th anniversary of Lenin's death. His embalmed body has been on public display in a glass case in a mausoleum in Red Square since his death following a series of strokes in 1924. His continuing presence in the heart of Moscow has been an ongoing source of controversy since the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991. (The 85th anniversary of Vladimir Lenin's death- Image Gallery) 

Another police source earlier said 25 people were detained.

"A group of 25 young people, carrying a cardboard coffin, were detained by police officers," a police source said, adding that the detainees were taken to a police station for questioning.

Some 50 young people wrapped from head to toe in white bandages and carrying coffins with Lenin's name were due to join a procession of thousands of communists who will lay wreaths at the mausoleum on Red Square.

"There will be no crowd standing and chanting slogans... The mummies will join the procession of communists," a member of the yet-unregistered organization, who identify themselves as Orthodox monarchists, said, promising that "the mummies will be quiet, just the way mummies should be."

The spokesman said the protestors had been detained on the grounds that the rally had not been sanctioned by Moscow authorities.

"Mummy costumes are not banned from being worn in public places, and anyone who does not disrupt public order can join the rally of communists," a spokesman for the group said.

The organization previously held a demonstration in support of Lenin's burial near the graves of his mother and sisters at the Volkovskoye Cemetery in St. Petersburg, where the group erected a headstone with the name of the communist leader.

An opinion poll has shown that two thirds of Russians believe that the embalmed body of the architect of the 1917 Russian Revolution should be removed from its mausoleum on Red Square and buried.

Demands to transfer the Russian communist leader's body to a regular cemetery have consistently been countered by Russian communists, who insist that the tomb on Red Square remain his final resting place.

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