Hundreds file past coffin of Nobel author Solzhenitsyn

Other News Materials 5 August 2008 14:37 (UTC +04:00)

Hundreds of people paid their last respects in Moscow Tuesday to the late author and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose body is lying in state at the Academy of Sciences in Moscow, reported dpa.

Hundreds of people were already waiting to enter the building before the doors opened to get a last glimpse of the respected Nobel laureate.

Next to the casket stood an honour guard and a large black-and- white photo of Solzhenitsyn.

Solzhenitsyn is to be buried on Wednesday at Moscow's Donskoy cemetery located at a 16th century monastery in south-west Moscow, the last resting place of many of Russia's most cherished artists and aristocrats.

The Moscow Patriarchy said Solzhenitsyn, a devout Orthodox Christian, had arranged for his funeral at Donskoy five years ago, news agency Interfax reported.

Solzhenitsyn, his thin face covered by a full Orthodox beard in his final years, had been weak for several years and died of heart failure late Sunday aged 89, his widow Natalya said.

He had worked tirelessly and unflinchingly to chronicle the horrors he and thousands of others suffered under Joseph Stalin's repressions in his works, including the three-volume Gulag Archipelago.

Solzhenitsyn was recognized as a member of Russia's prestigious Academy of Sciences in 1997.