Giant statue unveiled to Turkmenistan’s “National Horse Breeder” president

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.