Turkmenistan is planning to build the reclusive gas-rich state’s answer to the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty, the chief architect of the capital Ashgabat said on Saturday.
“A competition has been announced to design an edifice that will become a symbol of Ashgabat just like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Statue of Liberty in the US,” Bayram Shamuradov told AFP.
“The monument will be constructed right in the center of the city,” he said.
Turkmenistan has unveiled a string of ambitious projects for Ashgabat over the last months, including the construction of a “Palace of Happiness” for weddings and an “Olympic Village” for summer and winter sports.
Garish construction projects sprang up across Turkmenistan during the rule of dictator Saparmurat Niyazov, who died in 2006, even as much of the population remained mired in poverty.
His successor Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has erased some of the more bizarre aspects of Niyazov’s personality cult but has been given a bad press from critics who accuse him of simply replacing it with his own.
“We are doing everything to realize the task set by the president — to make Ashgabat the most beautiful and comfortable city in Central Asia,” said Shamuradov.(AFP)