Body politics: the global club of famous preserved corpses

Ideas

Body politics: the global club of famous preserved corpses

As Vietnam prepares to mark the 50th anniversary of Ho Chi Minh, we look at other embalmed leaders and luminaries

AFP

Monday marks 50 years since the death of Vietnam’s revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh, whose embalmed corpse is on show at a stately mausoleum in Hanoi where it is visited by millions annually – despite his dying wish to be cremated.

Posters, busts, statues and plaques honouring the father of modern-day Vietnam are ubiquitous across the country, today a bustling capitalist one-party state where communist politics still reign supreme.

The embalmed body of “Uncle Ho” has been on show under a glass sarcophagus since 1975 at his towering tomb. It is expected to draw huge crowds on his death anniversary on Monday, which also happens to be Vietnam’s National Day...

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