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Lenin body should stay put, his niece says

MOSCOW (AP) -- The niece of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin said Wednesday that the mummified remains of her famous uncle should be left on display in Red Square and not buried, as many Russians are demanding.

Lenin had insisted before his death that his body not be put on display. He wanted to be buried next to his mother in St. Petersburg.But shortly after his death, Soviet leaders turned the Bolshevik founder into a communist icon and put his body on display, where it was to remain as a revolutionary symbol for eternity.

Lenin died of massive stroke in 1924 at the age of 53.

Olga Ulyanova, the daughter of Lenin's younger brother Dmitry, claimed Wednesday that Lenin never made any requests for his burial. She said his body should be left in its glass display case.

"Can a man at (that) age be thinking of his own funeral? No, he can't," Ulyanova told a news conference at the Communist-dominated parliament. "He never left such a will."

After his death, Lenin's widow, Nadezhda Krupskaya, opposed putting him in an above-ground mausoleum. She said he wanted to be buried next to his mother.