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HomeWorldTurkmenistan President unveils giant golden statue of his favourite dog breed

Turkmenistan President unveils giant golden statue of his favourite dog breed

A six-metre golden statue of an Alabai, a home-bred variety of the Central Asian Shepherd dog, has been erected in the country’s capital, Ashgabat.

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New Delhi: Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has unveiled a six-metre tall golden statue of an Alabai dog in the country’s capital Ashgabat.

A state broadcast revealed the golden statue earlier this week. In Turkmenistan, a former Soviet Union republic, the Alabai is a home-bred variety of the Central Asian Shepherd dog and is considered a part of its national heritage. The only other animal to be honoured as a sculpture so far in the country has been the Akhal-Teke horse.

A favourite of President Berdimuhamedov, an Alabai puppy was also gifted by him to Russian President Vladimir Putin in October 2017, photos of which had spurred several internet memes at the time.

The new dog statue was built by architect Sargart Babayev and its construction was overseen by local firm Altyn, though the cost is not known. The structure also features a wraparound LED screen that displays footage of Alabai dogs playing.

According to Turkmenistan’s state news agency, the golden statue captures the “dignity and self-assuredness” of the big-skulled shepherd dog.

Also read: Statue honouring Sikh soldiers who died in 1897 Battle of Saragarhi to come up in UK

President Berdimuhamedov’s love for Alabais

The new statue has been in the works for several years. Last November, President Berdimuhamedov, currently serving his second term, had unveiled a plan to build the statue though he had suggested that it be 15-metre in size.

Last September, Berdimuhamedov also launched a book on the Alabais during a weekly cabinet meeting and read out a self-written poem inspired by the dog’s attributes. It went like this:

“Endowed with undying fate,
He is a living monument of the past,
His voice, it is like no other’s,
The exalted Turkmen Alabai.”

In his book, Berdymukhamedov explained that the ancestors of Turkmen saw “in the Akhal-Teke their dreams and in the Alabai their happiness”.

The government of Turkmenistan, meanwhile, has claimed to have not detected any Covid-19 cases so far despite its neighbour Iran recording over 720,000 infections and deaths from the virus.

Also read: The New Yorker fires staff writer for accidentally exposing himself during a Zoom call


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  1. Thank you for the news. It is heartening to know that humans love other living cousins in nature. However, donning the hat of ‘wonder’, I wish to know if this was an orchestrated attempt to point the torch elsewhere. Let us not behave or conduct ourselves as politicians for they have a different set of genes and blood groups. You are expected to be professionally projecting yourselves as well read and well-meaning journalists. If the intention was holy, my salutes once again.

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