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Dead World Leaders On Display (PHOTOS)

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DEAD WORLD LEADERS ON DISPLAY
In this undated photo, commanders and fighters of the Chinese People's Liberation Army pay their respects to the body Mao Zedong in China. The man commonly known as Chairman Mao is one of several world leaders whose bodies have been preserved and put on perpetual display, as Venezuela's government plans to do with Hugo Chavez. (AP File Photo) | AP
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Thousands of Venezuelans spent hours waiting in line on Thursday to pay their respects to Hugo Chavez. According to the Associated Press, the line to see the late president in his glass casket stretched 1 1/2 miles outside Caracas' military academy.

However, there doesn't need to be a rush.

Chavez supporters will have ample time to see the coffin, as Venezuela's Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced on Thursday that Chavez will be preserved and placed on display permanently at the Museum of the Revolution in Caracas.

Chavez will join a long tradition of leaders whose bodies have met a similar fate. Powerful men have been honored with monuments since before the pyramids of ancient Egypt, but permanent displays of embalmed leaders in life-like form only began in 1924 when the Soviet Union placed Vladimir Lenin in a mausoleum in Moscow's Red Square, where, according to the AP, he has remained continuously, except for a period of hiding during World War II. A team of fifteen scientists works full-time to keep Lenin's body looking hale and saintly, which includes placing it in a month-long "bath of glycerol and potassium acetate" every 18 months.

Joseph Stalin, too, was displayed at Lenin's Mausoleum after his death, until the mausoleum was de-Stalinized along with the rest of Russia in 1961. The bodies of Kim Jong-il and his father Kim Il-sung share the spotlight at the massive Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, North Korea, according to The New York Times. Even in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh remains on permanent display, checked up on intermittently by the same team that monitors Lenin. Chavez may have championed "socialism for the 21st century," according to the BBC, but in death, he looks startlingly similar to the great socialist leaders of the 20th century.

Take a look at Chavez's predecessors in the slideshow below.

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