The mausoleum displaying the body of Mao Tse-tung reopened Tuesday after nine months of repairs, drawing lines of visitors to view the revolutionary leader’s corpse.
The building on the southern end of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square closed April 1 for the first long-term renovations since it opened in 1977.
Mao, who died in 1976, is still revered by many for leading China’s Communist takeover. But others have denounced him. Millions of people died of starvation and persecution during his reign.
Rumors circulate about the state of his preserved corpse and whether the body on display is really him.
Many visitors paid 25 cents each to rent artificial flowers to place at a white marble statue of Mao. In the next room, his body lay covered by the Chinese Communist Party flag, with only his head showing.
Visitors left through a shop selling Mao pins, chopsticks and other memorabilia - evidence of China’s growing market economy, the legacy of Mao’s successor, Deng Xiaoping.