Hallowed Ho

Sadly, Uncle Ho was away in Russia being restored and in the vast square before his tomb, hundreds of similarly disappointed visitors milled about. Later we formed queues into the house on stilts not far from the official presidential residence, where he lived as ruler up to his death in 1969. It was against his will that he be memorialised but he is not around to put a stop to it. This is the problem with death: all your influence disappears and others take it on themselves to turn you into a museum. In the white modernist structure that is the home for Ho memorabilia, the designers have run riot. An extraordinary combination of grandiose marble halls, steel structures that would have done Dr Who and Star Trek proud, plastic symbols representing his role and, tucked away, old faded photos of the man himself performing physical exercises to inspire the troops.

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