Monument to Turkmenbashi in Ashgabat reportedly removed

Photo credit: Ilya Varlamov

A monument to Saparmurat Niyazov is reportedly being dismantled from Makhtumkuli Avenue, in the center of Ashgabat, in front of the main building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The monument, one of the principal memorials to the former president, is a gold leaf-coated statue of Niyazov sitting in a chair.

Reports from the capital said that at this time the monument is being fenced off and wrapped in a net. Bus passengers riding by the monument said that the statue is no longer visible behind the fence and could have already been removed.

Other sources suggested that the monument could be undergoing a makeover, rather than being removed. The statue has had to withstand years of strong Turkmen sun and changing seasons that could have damaged it. Most, however, believe that the statue of Turkmenbashi sitting in a chair will not be seen again at its traditional place in front of the Ministry of Interior.

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