A second shot of a major road in Ashgabat - from another perspective, on a different day. The basic idea is the same as in my last post - this time I am looking down the road, towards a 60 m tripod-monument in the city centre.
On top of that monument: a 12 m statue of the president, Saparmurat Niyazov or, as he likes to be called, Turkmenbashi the Great, completely covered in gold. The statue stands on a massive clockwork, turning around its own axis once in 24 hours so the sun always shines on the president's face and his hands greet all his country once a day.
Well, I should add that this is a statue of the late president. He died of heart failure in 2006. And his successor, a dentist and former health minister, only weeks ago issued a decree for the monument to be taken down.
As a replacement a new monument will be errected, twice the size of the old one, costing over 250 million US-$ and set to be completed for the 20th anniversary of Turkmenistan's independence in October 2011. Of course the new president's monument won't have a statue of the old president on top!
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akm (1216) 2010-03-10 15:57
More jaw-dropping stuff Hendrik. I knew about Turkmenbashi's golden revolving statue but not about plans for the its replacement. It would be very hard to make this up, wouldn't it? Thanks again for this and your note.