A giant sculpture and statue in marble and gold leaf has been unveiled honouring the current President of Turkmenistan – former dentist Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.
According to the official government statement the tribute to the man known as “Patron” and “National Horse Breeder” was constructed after a public clamour for a permanent monument to their ruler became “impossible to ignore”.
Berdymukhamedov, aged 57, has ruled the central Asian country for nine years.
The monument is topped with a 6m high statue of the president on horseback while holding aloft a dove and was unveiled as birds and balloons were released into the air and students shouted “Glory to Arkadag [meaning either Patron or Protector]”.
The edifice is in a central square in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat.