Hugo Chavez may be dead, but that doesn't mean he won't still be among his fellow Venezuelans, quite literally. Chavez's body will be embalmed and put on permanent display in a military museum. But he's far from the first person -- famous, or posthumously infamous -- to be displayed after death.
Communist leader Vladimir Lenin has rested, for all to see, in Moscow's Red Square since his death in 1924. In January, the United Russia party put together a website where those interested could vote on whether Lenin's body should remain on display or be buried.
After his death in 1953, the body of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was displayed alongside that of Lenin, but it was later removed from the mausoleum and buried near the Kremlin wall. At the time, Nikita Krushchev gave a speech explaining that the body would be moved due to "serious violations by Stalin of Lenin's precepts, abuse of power, mass repressions against honorable Soviet people, and other activities in the period of the personality cult."
One of the most famous of Egypt's pharoahs, Tutankhamun, was embalmed and laid to rest around 1323 BC. His tomb was later discovered by Howard Carter and George Herbert in 1922, kicking off a renewed wave of interest in ancient Egypt.
In 1957, as tension grew between Peron supporters and anti-Peronists, the embalmed remains of Argentina's former first lady, Eva Peron, were buried in a Milanese cemetary under a false name. Over a decade later, in 1971, her remains were flown to Spain and given to her husband, Juan Peron, who later returned to Argentina with his new wife, Isabel. After his death in 1973, Isabel oversaw the final restoration and repatriation of Eva Peron's body. In October 1976, the body was finally placed in her family's mausoleum in Buenos Aires, where it remans to this day, underground within a fortified crypt.
|Ho Chi Minh|
The embalmed body of the former Vietnamese leader is stored in the central hall of the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum in Hanoi, where it can be seen by visitors. The mausoleum is surrounded by gardens as well as platforms for use during parades.
The body Mao Zedong, former leader of China's communist party, is on display in a mausolemum located in Beijing's Tiananmen Square -- despite the fact that Mao had been among the first high-ranking officials in the country to sign the "Proposal that all Central Leaders be Cremated after Death."
The former leader of the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" (North Korea) rests within a mausoleum at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun.
The recently deceased leader of North Korea was embalmed after his death and placed in a mausoleum, where it has become a popular attraction.
The remains of Saint Bernadette were uncovered 30 years after her death, revealing an astoundingly well-preserved body. However, as it had now been exposed to air, the skin on Bernadette's remains began to mildew and blacken, and so her face and hands were covered with wax before she was prepared for public viewing. She has rested within a crystal coffin in a chapel at the Church of St. Gildard since 1925.
Shortly after two-year-old Rosalia Lombardo's death from pneumonia in 1920, the little Sicilian girl was embalmed and placed in a glass-topped coffin within a crypt. For a long time, the method used to preserve her body so well had been a mystery, but it has since been discovered that the taxidermist/embalmer who worked on her used a mixture of formalin, zinc salts, alcohol, salicylic acid, and glycerin.
|Elena Milagro de Hoyos|
Elena de Hoyos -- a Cuban-American woman who lived in Key West with her family -- died of tuberculosis in 1931, at the age of 21. While in treatment for her illness, she had caught the eye of German-born Carl Tanzler, a radiologist. His obsession for her, however, extended well after she had passed away. After her death and entombment in her family's crypt, Tanzler began making nightly visits to de Hoyos' resting place. Eventually, under cover of night, he removed the body and took it to his home, attempting to slow decomposition and preserve its beauty using wire hangers, glass eyes, and silk cloths dipped in wax and plaster or Paris. Tanzler's "arrangement" was discovered, seven years later, by de Hoyos' family, who reported the doctor to authorities.