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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 March 2007, 06:12 GMT
Mao's remains removed from view
People walk away from Mao Zedong's mausoleum
Mao's mausoleum is one of China's most popular attractions
For the next six months visitors to the Chinese capital, Beijing, will no longer be able to view the embalmed body of former leader Mao Zedong.

The hall which houses his remains in Tiananmen Square is closing to enable renovation work to be carried out.

Chairman Mao died in 1976 and his mausoleum opened a year later.

Since then, according to Chinese state media, 158 million visitors have turned out to view Mao's body, which is displayed inside a crystal sarcophagus.

The official Xinhua news agency reported that the mausoleum is due to re-open on 20 September.

It did not however, give any details as to the nature of the renovations.

Mao proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, having led the Communists to victory against China's Nationalists after more than 20 years of civil war.

Over 30 years after his death he remains a controversial figure, idolised as the father of the nation by some, but vilified by others who say China suffered under his authoritarian rule and often misguided policies.

Support for Chairman Mao lingers
10 Jan 07 |  Asia-Pacific
China moves on from Mao
08 Sep 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: China
14 Dec 06 |  Country profiles

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