My friends, it’s the end of an era:
The gold-plated statue of Turkmenistan's late leader, Saparmurat Niyazov, has been removed from its giant plinth in the capital, Ashgabat.
President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, who took power after the strongman's death in 2006, gave the order to remove the monument in January.
The rotation of the statue, which always faced the sun, was stopped several weeks ago.
On Wednesday it was removed and workers are now tackling the huge tripod base.
Via. There’s an interesting conflict here. You’d obviously have to be a monstrous tyrant to cause a giant rotating golden statue of yourself to be erected, but at the same time you’d also have to be an utterly ridiculous man. Think Bruce Forsyth as Stalin.
But maybe Niyazov was thinking long term. I think the point about the rotation was that if it was left to continue for long enough people would eventually assume that it caused the movement of the sun, rather than following it: that is, assuming the closed system that Niyazov made of Turkmenistan was maintained.
Anyway, good for President Berdymukhamedov, manifestation of the thunder god upon whom all Turkmen rely for rain to water their crops.