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Turkmenistan Leader Unveils Giant Gold Statue Of Favourite Dog

Claire Reid

Published 

Turkmenistan Leader Unveils Giant Gold Statue Of Favourite Dog

Featured Image Credit: Penn News

Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has unveiled a huge gold statue dedicated to his favourite dog breed.

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The six-metre gold leaf statue of the Alabai dog is situated in the capital city of Ashgabat where it is sat atop a plinth which has a wraparound LED display showing footage of the dogs.

I mean, this really is what dogs deserve, to be honest.

Berdymukhamedov, a former dentist, is so enamoured with the breed that he's even written a book about them.

In the book he writes that the Turkmen's ancestors had seen their dreams in horses, but their happiness in Alabai.

Credit: Penn News
Credit: Penn News

He also wrote a poem about the pooches, which he read out to his government, in which he said the dogs were 'a symbol of achievement and victory'.

Horses needn't feel too hard done by, though. Last year Berdymukhamedov wrote a rap dedicated to his equine friends, according to the BBC. I bet that's a cracker of a track.

The statue was unveiled earlier this week in a special ceremony with music and dancing, all watched over by Berdymukhamedo.

Government newsreel footage from the event showed thousands of balloons being released into the sky, while a resident from the city was presented with an Alabai puppy.

Credit: Penn News
Credit: Penn News

State propaganda said the new statue managed to capture the 'dignity and self-assuredness' of the breed.

Although the breed is a clear favourite with Berdymukhamedo - the dog actually has a lot of national significance.

Historian Victoria Clement, author of the book Learning to Become Turkmen, said the breed is a source of national pride.

She told France 24: "It assists the state in solidifying the idea of the territory of Turkmenistan as firmly Turkmen."

This isn't the first over-the-top statue Berdymukhamedov has commissioned - back in 2015, he unveiled a gold statue of himself in the capital riding a horse atop a cliff of white marble. Low-key.

Credit: Penn News
Credit: Penn News

But don't be fooled by the fun statues; the secretive country has been named as one of the most oppressive nations in the world.

Freedom House lists Turkmenistan as the fourth least-free country in the world, behind only South Sudan, Eritrea and Syria.

Topics: Dog, Weird, Animals

Claire Reid
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