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LENIN MAUSOLEUM IN MOSCOW TO BE CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE WORK

MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti) - The Lenin Mausoleum on the Red Square in Moscow will be closed for maintenance starting Monday.

"Due to scheduled maintenance work, the Lenin Mausoleum will be closed for visitors from February 14 till April 18, 2005," announced director of the public relations center of the Federal Protection Service (FSO) Sergei Devyatov in an interview with RIA Novosti.

According to Mr. Devyatov, the temporary closure of the mausoleum is related to the scheduled biochemical works on preserving Lenin's embalmed body. "Such practices has been common practice since the foundation of the mausoleum," the FSO official underlined.

The building itself will not undergo any repairs.

According to information obtained by RIA Novosti, the work will be carried out by experts from the All-Russian Institute for Medicinal Herbs. In the past, the financing of the maintenance work was provided by the state. This time, a scientific foundation took this responsibility upon itself.

The mausoleum is closed for maintenance on a regular basis. Normally, the work takes up to two months, sometimes, only several days. The most recent maintenance in the mausoleum was conducted in the summer of 2004.