The ruler of Turkmenistan unveiled a 50-foot gold statue of his favorite dog breed in the country’s capital.
Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who has ruled the Middle East country since 2007, unveiled the statue of the Turkmen alabi dog at a ceremony on Wednesday.
Located in the middle of a roundabout in a newly built area of Ashgabat, the capital, the statue has a pedestal with television screens that play videos of the dog.
Berdymukhamedov has a long-standing love affair with the breed native to Turkmenistan, which he regards as part of the country’s national character.
Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, the ruler of Turkmenistan, unveiled a 50-foot-high gold statue of his favorite dog breed – the Turkmen alabi – in a ceremony in Ashgabat, the country’s capital
Berdymukhamedov has a long-standing love affair with the Alabi after writing a book and poem about the dog that has been described as a “symbol of achievement and victory” and part of the nation’s character
Berdymukhamedov has dedicated books and poems to the dog breed, which they describe as a “symbol of achievement and victory”, and once gave Vladimir Putin an Alabi puppy (picture 2017).
He has dedicated books and poems to the dog breed, which he describes as a “symbol of achievement and victory”, and once gave Vladimir Putin an Alabi puppy.
The statue itself is cast in bronze, 20 feet high and covered in 24 karat gold leaf. According to the Turkmen government, the podium measures 30 feet with a total height of 50 feet.
The dog sits in the center of a new area of Ashgabat designed and built to house officials.
It includes several white marble apartment buildings, schools, parks, shops, cinemas, wedding venues, and sports fields.
Despite the lavish ceremony, most of Turkmenistan’s population is impoverished and severely oppressed.
According to the RSF, the country ranks the lowest in the world for press freedom, even below North Korea.
The country’s economy is growing thanks largely to huge oil and natural gas reserves, but most of the wealth is concentrated in the top of society.
In a press release from the Turkmen government, the statue was described as an expression of “respect and honor for the exemplary courage and the warm heart of these wonderful animals”.
The statue will “highlight its role in the historical fate of the nation and the place Alabis occupies in the life of the nation,” the press release added.
Berdymukhamedov’s obsession with the alabai isn’t just personal.
The statue itself is 20 feet tall and sits on a 30 foot pedestal in the middle of a roundabout covered with television screens that play videos of the dog
Berdymukhamedov attended the unveiling ceremony on Wednesday, along with a choir of children in traditional clothing and dancers performing traditional national dances
Berdymukhamedov wrote a book and a poem about the dog and once gave a puppy to Vladimir Putin (picture)
The dog with the big chest and the big skull has always been on the side of the nomads in the Central Asian nation.
Historian Victoria Clement, author of Learning to Become Turkmen, said the race promotes feelings of national pride.
“It helps the state to consolidate the idea of the territory of Turkmenistan as firmly Turkmen,” she told France 24 last year.
The new statue is just the newest opulent monument erected at the behest of the nation’s dictators.
In 2015, Berdymukhamedov unveiled a golden statue of himself in the capital on horseback on a white marble cliff.
And the former dictator, Saparmurat Niyazov, erected a golden statue of himself that would rotate so it was always facing the sun and set it on a tripod 246 feet high.
The capital Ashgabat has been described as Pyongyang meets Las Vegas.
Turkmenistan’s economy benefits from huge oil and natural gas reserves, but has been described as one of the most depressing nations on earth.
Freedom House lists Turkmenistan as the fourth lowest free country in the world, after only South Sudan, Eritrea and Syria.
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