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Three Duma factions like idea of burying Lenin’s body

June 14, 2012, 16:37 UTC+3

Communists say it’s 'nonsense'

1 pages in this article

MOSCOW, June 14 (Itar-Tass) —— Three factions in the lower house of the Russian parliament have come out in support of the idea newly-appointed Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky voiced just recently of burying Vladimir Lenin’s body with all proper honors and respects paid to the man. The fourth parliamentary faction – the CPRF – has dismissed the idea as “nonsense, craftiness and settlement of political scores with history.”

“I believe that Lenin must be buried,” the deputy secretary of United Russia’s General Council, head of the State Duma’s committee for labor, social policies and veterans’ affairs, Andrei Isayev has told Itar-Tass. “The reburial must be held with all proper state honors and respects paid, because that man, however controversial and complex his personality is, was the head of our country’s government for four years,” the historian recalled. In his opinion, “the Communists must take part in discussing the question of the reburial ceremony and the site for the grave.”

“From my point of view the most appropriate place is the cemetery of the Novodevichy Convent,” Isayev said.

The Liberal Democrat Party fully supports the minister of culture’s idea, State Duma Deputy Speaker Igor Lebedev told Itar-Tass. He also suggested reburying not only the body of Lenin, but also the body of those buried at the foot of the Kremlin wall. “A cemetery in the city’s main square is indecent and inappropriate,” Lebedev said. “I believe that the building of Lenin’s grave should be turned into a museum and a tourist must. Also, a decent place should be found where the body of the late Communist leader can be laid to rest,” he said. Lebedev said that it was a competence of the Moscow Mayor’s Office to make decisions that would bring this day near.

The A Just Russia party in principle agree with Medinsky’s proposal. As the faction’s member, Anton Belyakov, has told Itar-Tass, “indeed, it would be correct to bury the body of the great leader, but at the same time to keep intact Red Square as a historical site in its present shape.” Before that the question should be discussed nation-wide, because the level of adopting such a decision is “higher than the state one,” the legislator said. Belyakov warned that the “cult of Lenin still exists around the world, and his reburial may sound a serious political message with international implications.”

In the meantime, the deputy leader of the a Just Russia Faction in the State Duma, Oksana Dmitriyeva, refrained from evaluating the content of Medinsky’s idea. She believes that “in the field of culture far more other things require unflagging attention.”

“In culture there are far more serious problems, for instance the preservation of the historical heritage,” she said. The legislator warned that such an initiative may create another hotbed of tension.

The Communist Party is strongly critical of the possibility Lenin’s body may be buried. A secretary of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, Sergei Obukhov, has dismissed the proposal as nonsense. “Firstly, he is already buried,” he told Itar-Tass. “Under article three of the law on burial he lies in a crypt. Such crypts are many at any cemetery. That’s craftiness and settlement of political scores with history.”

Asked if he might agree in principle that such a “burial of the century” might take place after all some day, Obukhov in fact reiterated Dmitriyeva’s statement. “I do foresee a situation where in the context of a worsening of the situation the public attention will be shifted to this non-existing problem.” At the same time he has never heard “invitations to take part in discussing this theme.”

“The Communist Party relies on the opinion of one-third of citizens and it believes that this opinion must be taken into account,” the politician said.

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