Why do leaders get embalmed?

Published 12:34 PM ET, Fri March 8, 2013
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The embalmed body of Argentinian politician Eva Peron was on display for some time after her death, with plans to create a Lenin-style mausoleum under way. However, the body disappeared during a military coup in 1955, before being rediscovered in 1971 and put back on display. Keystone/Getty Images
1963: The body of Pope John XXIII lies in state at St. Peter's in Rome. The pope's body was embalmed before it was laid in state and remains well preserved to this day. It was on public display in 2001 in the Vatican. Reg Lancaster/Express/Getty Images
The body of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il lies in a glass coffin at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang on December 20, 2011. KNS/AFP/Getty Images
The body of his father, Kim Il Sung, was also embalmed after he died in 1994 and lies in a public mausoleum. AFP/GettyImages
In a picture dated September 13, 1976, party and state leaders stand vigil before the remains of Chairman Mao Zedong. His body is on display in a mausoleum in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. AFP/Getty Images
The body of Soviet Communist leader Joseph Stalin was embalmed and laid next to the body of his predecessor Lenin. However, it was later removed as part of the de-Stalinization process in 1961. Keystone/Getty Images