Turkmenistan dictator's golden statue is toppled

Friday 27 August 2010 00:00 BST

A prominent golden statue of Turkmenistan's former dictator has been taken down, further eroding the personality cult around the late leader.

The Arch of Neutrality was the most distinctive monument in honour of the eccentric leader Saparmurat Niyazov.

His gold-plated statue stood on a 230ft white tile-clad tripod and rotated to face the sun. The statue stopped rotating several weeks ago, workers removed the statue on Wednesday and the base was dismantled yesterday.

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