Since its inauguration in 1975, Hồ Chí Minh
Mausoleum has received 58 million visitors
including 10 million foreigners. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tùng
HÀ NỘI — Preserving President Hồ Chí Minh’s body in the coming years is a meaningful task for the Government and people of Việt Nam, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc said at a conference yesterday in Hà Nội.
The conference gathered soldiers of the President Hồ’s body.Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum Protection High Command as well as Vietnamese and Russian experts who are involved in the mission of preserving and protecting
President Hồ died on September 3, 1969. In the following days, his body was embalmed by Soviet Union experts and a special Vietnamese medical team under a joint agreement between the two governments. Since then, Vietnamese and Russian experts have worked together to protect his body.
The conference was held to review 50 years of protecting President Hồ’s body, recognise the efforts of the Vietnamese and Russian specialists and set tasks for the years to come.
“With endless gratitude and respect for President Hồ, Vietnamese people have a desire to protect his body,” said Prime Minister Phúc.
“We have fulfilled the duty to protect his body in the difficult conditions of war and weather until the great leader had an eternal rest at his mausoleum inaugurated in 1975.
“His name and career will stay forever in the hearts of Vietnamese and international people. President Hồ Chí Minh's mausoleum has been a popular place to visit in Hà Nội. It’s also a venue for important meetings, parades and celebrations.”
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Phúc directly inspected the mausoleum's annual maintenance.
He asked the management board to ensure its security and promote the use of advanced technology in preserving the embalmed body of Việt Nam’s founding leader.
Đặng Vũ Minh, head of the State Council of Vietnamese and Russian specialists who are responsible for protecting President Hồ’s body, reported on the situation of the mission. He said the body is still in perfect condition.
Professor Banin Victor Vasilievich from the Russian Academy of Sciences said he still remembers the difficulty of protecting the leader’s body during the war. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, all negotiations between the two Governments were cut off. Soviet scientists left Việt Nam, making it difficult for local authorities and specialists to preserve President Hồ’s body.
“Then we gradually transferred the production of a chemical mixture needed for the preservation and the techniques to Vietnamese experts," said Vasilievich. "Recently the Vietnamese side produced the chemicals and the special suit for President Hồ by themselves.
“Now following the co-operation agreement between the Russian Academy of Sciences and the President Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum Management Board, Russian experts continue working together with Vietnamese technicians to consult and examine the maintenance of the body.
“It’s not only for the friendship between two countries; it’s also because of the gratitude and respect for President Hồ,” he said.
Since its inauguration in 1975, the mausoleum has received 58 million visitors, including 10 million foreigners. The complex welcomed about 1.2 million visitors in the first half of 2019, according to Nguyễn Văn Công, director of the President Hồ Chí Minh Relics Management Board. Hồ Chí Minh relics at the Presidential Palace are among Hà Nội's most popular attractions.
There is a strict dress code for visitors that requires them to have their legs covered. They also must pass a security check. At night, visitors can see the mausoleum lit up and watch an impressive flag ceremony.
At the conference, delegates also discussed how to promote patriotism, President Hồ’s ideology and the Party’s policy through visits to the site.
Nguyễn Thanh Hằng, an officer for the Hà Nội Tourism Department, said many people who visit the site are moved by a deeper understanding of the great leader.
“Some old people and veterans from the southern region who haven’t seen Uncle Hồ in person are so moved when they come to the mausoleum,” Hằng said.
“We suggested launching more tours connecting beautiful spots and destinations in the capital, designed for specific visitors such as students and veterans," she said. "For example, after visiting the mausoleum, they can continue the trip to Thăng Long Royal Citadel or the National Museum of History." — VNS