The Chinese completed this massive mausoleum in May 1977, eight months after Mao Zedong’s death. Because Mao died during an era of great Soviet-Chinese tension, officials had to seek embalming advice from the Vietnamese, who had previously preserved Ho Chi Minh. The embalming went off without a hitch. But the Vietnamese had received Ho’s crystal coffin directly from the Soviets and were unable to explain how to build the air-tight container. That forced the Chinese to develop their own glass coffin with only a photo of Lenin’s tomb as a guide. Mao’s Mausoleum closed for nine months in 1997 for renovations. Rumors suggested that Mao’s corpse, which had been filled with 22 liters of formaldehyde in 1976, had a leak.