Hugo Chavez’s body may have decayed too much for eternal display

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It may be too late to preserve deceased Venezuela President Hugo Chavez’s body in a glass casket “for eternity” after all.

The embalming process should have started earlier, government officials said, in a Reuters report.

“Russian and German scientists have arrived to embalm Chavez, and they tell us it’s very difficult because the process should have started earlier,” said interim President Nicolas Maduro, Reuters reported. “Maybe we can’t do it. We are in the middle of the process. It’s complicated — it’s my duty to inform you.”

Mr. Chavez died at the age of 58 last week from a heart attack suffered during cancer recovery, various media reported. His body was placed in a glass coffin and on display at Caracas. The plan was to keep him on permanent display — “for eternity,” government officials said — in the same fashion as Soviet leaders Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin, Reuters reports.

Mr. Maduro expects the government will know before the end of the week if Mr. Hugo’s remains can be embalmed for eternal viewing.

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