søndag 11. september 2016

Preserving Chairman Mao: embalming a body to maintain a legacy

Days after Communist China’s founding father, Mao Zedong, died 40 years ago the problem of what to do with his body was becoming increasingly heated – literally. Mao himself had requested cremation, but powerful officials, including his mercurial widow, Jiang Qing, decided he would join the likes of Vladimir Lenin and Ho Chi Minh in being embalmed and put on display. Before the natural processes of decay could take hold, Xie Piao, an official overseeing an experimental thermoelectric cooling project, was summoned in the middle of the night and tasked with cooling the corpse. Read more