Beijing: Nearly 36 years after Mao Zedong's death, China has made public documents detailing how a glass manufacturer from Shanghai was asked by the government to make a crystal casket to preserve the Chairman's body.
The documents released yesterday show the Shanghai Xinhu Glass Factory received an order code-named "No.1 Task" in January 1977 to make a crystal coffin, four months after the death of Mao on September 9, 1976.
"Crystal plates for the coffin are 88 centimeters long, 77 centimeters wide and 4 centimeters thick... The biggest problem is to avoid bubbles and spots in the crystal," the Shanghai Daily quoted one document as saying.
The coffin was finally assembled in Beijing in August, 1977.
Mao's remains are on display for public viewing at his Mausoleum in Beijing.
Mao was the chairman of the powerful Politburo of the Communist Party from 1943 and the chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party from 1945 until his death.
Some 15 documents detail the specifications of the casket exhibited in the Chairman Mao Memorial Hall in Beijing.
They include detailed requirements from central government and summaries of nine meetings.
These are among 17,000 archive documents made public for the first time by the Shanghai Archives Bureau, covering a period between the 1930s and 1980s.
First Published: Sunday, June 10, 2012, 20:20