Russia Sells Lenin's Body
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, the Russian government struggled to mend its ailing economy, but the nation's financial situation remained dire.
In November 1991 Forbes FYI
, an American business magazine, revealed just how hopeless the Russian economic situation had become: the Russian government, desperate for foreign currency, had apparently decided to sell the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin to the highest bidder. The body had been on public display in a Red Square mausoleum for decades. It was said that the Russians would start the bidding at $15 million.
and USA Today
both repeated the story, much to their regret, because the editor of Forbes FYI soon afterwards revealed that it was a hoax. Russian Interior Minister Viktor Barrannikov denounced the joke as "an impudent lie."
"True capitalism: Lenin for sale?" USA Today (November 6, 1991).
Text copyright © 2002 Alex Boese