Preserving Chairman Mao: embalming a body to maintain a legacy

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Before his death 40 years ago, Communist China’s founder requested cremation but officials wanted his body embalmed and put on display – and it wasn’t easy

Days after Communist China’s founding father, Mao Zedong, died 40 years ago the problem of what to do with his body was becoming increasingly heated – literally.

Mao himself had requested cremation, but powerful officials, including his mercurial widow, Jiang Qing, decided he would join the likes of Vladimir Lenin and Ho Chi Minh in being embalmed and put on display.

Related: Great Helmsman or ruinous dictator? China remembers Mao, 40 years after death

Related: Lenin Lab: the team keeping the first Soviet leader embalmed

Related: Fifty years on, one of Mao’s ‘little generals’ exposes horror of the Cultural Revolution

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Source: china
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