Vietnam honours Ho Chi Minh's Russian embalmers

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam has awarded medals to Russian embalmers and scientists who have helped preserve the body of revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh since he died 40 years ago, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

In all, the Vietnamese embassy in Russia presented 34 medals and badges of appreciation to medical and technical experts in Moscow at a ceremony on Wednesday, it said.

Ambassador Bui Dinh Dinh “gave a high appraisal of the role and work of experts from the Soviet Union before and the Russian Federation later who helped Vietnam reach a level and means of modern technology to perform the sacred duty of carefully preserving His body”, the report said.

Ho died of a heart attack on September 2, 1969 at age 79.

His body has been on display in a pillared, gray mausoleum in Hanoi since 1975 -- despite his wish, expressed in his will, to be cremated.

Russia has had the body of Communist revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin on display in Moscow since the 1920s.