Kazakhstan’s central bank has issued a giant $930 (£688) coin that features a profile of powerful former president Nursultan Nazarbayev embossed in gold, the latest move by the authorities to immortalise the 80-year-old leader’s legacy.
Mr Nazarbayev, a former Soviet apparatchik, ran the country first as Communist boss and then as president, from 1989 until his abrupt resignation in 2019, handing power to loyal ally President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. One of the new president’s first acts was to rename capital Nur-Sultan in Nazarbayev’s honour.
Mr Nazarbayev has retained sweeping authority as head of the security council and leader of the ruling party, and his face already appears on the country’s tenge currency.
The new commemorative coin, silver with a gold portrait of the president, is five centimetres (almost two inches) in diameter. Only 1,000 have been minted and made available at the central bank’s specialised store this week.
Mr Nazarbayev’s name has also been given to one of the country’s top universities, a network of prestigious public schools, the capital’s airport and a central street in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s biggest city.
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