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Monday June 24, 2024

Turkmenistan unveils one of the world’s tallest statues

Oil and gas rich country has erected several monuments, buildings and statues in honour of national heroes

By AFP
May 18, 2024
People take part in an opening ceremony of the first monument to Turkmenistans President Berdymukhamedov in Ashgabat on May 25, 2015. — AFP/file
People take part in an opening ceremony of the first monument to Turkmenistan's President Berdymukhamedov in Ashgabat on May 25, 2015. — AFP/file 

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan: The isolated Central Asian state of Turkmenistan on Friday unveiled an 80-metre high bronze statue, one of the tallest in the world, in honour of its most famous national poet.

The oil and gas rich country has in recent years erected several monuments, buildings and statues in honour of national heroes and the ruling family. Critics say they are to advance an intense cult of personality.

President Serdar Berdymukhamedov presided over the lavish opening ceremony of the statue of Magtymguly Pyragy, south of the capital, Ashgabat.

Born 300 years ago, he is seen as one of the most important figures in Turkmen literature. His name is being used by authorities to promote a Turkmen identity, rooted in history.

“I wanted to embody the greatness of a humanist and poet whose name figures among the eminent writers of the east”, sculptor Saragt Babayev said.