01.10.2022

Lenin Mausoleum Renovation Contest Called Off

A competition for ideas to redevelop Lenin’s mausoleum on Red Square has been canceled less than 24 hours after its launch due to overwhelming criticism, its organizers told the Moskva news agency Monday.

The Russian Union of Architects faced a barrage of criticism, mainly from the Communist Party, for calling on contestants to reimagine what to do with the building after Lenin’s corpse is eventually removed.

“But it won’t happen in our lifetime, so we decided to wait,” union president Nikolai Shumakov told Moskva.

“We’ll announce this competition in the next lifetime but not in the next few years,” Shumakov said.

Contest organizers have been accused by Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov of “spitting on the grave” of the Bolshevik revolutionary who helped found the Soviet Union.

“There’s so much negativity, distortions, as if we’re trying to demolish the mausoleum and steal Lenin’s body,” Shumakov complained.

“I’ll need a five-year plan to recover, I haven’t received so much negativity in my life in such a long time.”

Following the Soviet collapse, heated debates have picked up over the continued display of Lenin’s embalmed body on Red Square since his death in 1924. Public polling has suggested that most Russians would like to see his body buried either immediately or “after the generation that admires him passes away.”

Public figures have in recent years advocated for the reburial of Lenin’s body at some point in the future, while acknowledging that a large part of the population would vehemently oppose it.

U.S. Artist Wants Lenin Corpse in D.C.

An American performance artist has announced his intent to buy Vladimir Lenin’s embalmed corpse from Russia and move it to the United States.

Georgian-born David Datuna shocked the art world after he ate Maruizio Cattelan’s $120,000 work titled “Comedian” — which consisted of a banana taped to a wall — at Art Basel in Miami last December.

On Thursday, Datuna said on social media that he wants to build a replica of Lenin’s Red Square mausoleum in Washington and move the communist leader’s embalmed body there.

The artist argued that the U.S. was growing closer to socialist ideals while Russia, where the 70-year Soviet experiment ended in 1991, was moving in the opposite direction.

“Russia has long been an empire with its emperor. The U.S., meanwhile, is moving towards communism and socialist ideas,” Datuna wrote on Instagram.

“Today, the attributes of the mausoleum and Lenin are more needed by the United States than Russia,” he said.

Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov criticized Datuna’s proposal, calling the mausoleum and other Soviet relics “sacred.”

“The Americans should cherish their own values. We’ve protected and looked after ours and will continue to do so,” Zyuganov said.

“They are sacred to us, whereas the Americans are destroying their own statues, even barbarically decapitating Columbus,” Zyuganov said, referring to this year’s wave of Black Lives Matter protesters toppling monuments linked to colonialism and slavery.

Datuna’s mausoleum replica plans are the second controversy surrounding Lenin’s resting place this week. On Monday, the Russian Union of Architects abruptly canceled a contest to redevelop the Moscow landmark after a barrage of criticism from the Soviet founder’s admirers.

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