Creation of the majestic monument of Makhtumkuli

Creation of the majestic monument of Makhtumkuli

Turkmenistan is preparing to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the prominent philosopher and poet of the 18th century, classic of Turkmen literature Makhtumkuli Fraghi.

The main festive celebrations will be held in 2024, while preparations for these events are already at full speed. One of the grandiose projects dedicated to the personality of the writer is the embodiment of his image in a 60-meter monument that to be installed in the picturesque foothills of Ashgabat.

The sculptor and People’s Artist of Turkmenistan Saragt Babayev took responsibility for the implementation of the creative idea. With a large team of assistants, including young sculptors, students, builders, a team of welders and many others, the master spends days and nights in the barn of a concrete plant, which has temporarily become a large-scale workshop.

The ORIENT correspondents have went to observe the progress of the monumental works and been impressed a lot by the majesty of the project. The smoothly running process reminds of an anthill, where each worker is busy with his own business – here, it is not good to be distracted, while guests are always welcomed.

Among the dozens of workers, it is almost impossible to recognize the famous sculptor Saragt Babayev. He works together with his students, polishes the frame plaster and grinds the individual parts with tools, giving the details artistic precision. Gypsum is applied to the metal frame by hand, fingerprints remain on the finished blocks, so grinding is needed. Young sculptors “build up” each element of the future monument layer by layer, while the plaster base is only an intermediate material.

“After the structure molded from gypsum dries up, it is sawn into separate blocks, which will be sent to another plant to be cast into bronze,” explains Saragt Babaev. “One circle of the monument contains more than 60 pieces of construction, 1.60 meters high and 1.40 meters wide, and the plaster mold itself is about 1.5 centimeters thick. The task for us is very important, the work is carried out continuously, it is good that our work is facilitated by mobile cranes, with the help of which we build up metal frames.”

The first large metal frame was welded on January 31 of this year, before that parts and fastener placement diagrams were procured. To date, the Makhtumkuli monument has grown by more than 5 meters. And while this text is being written and read, the monument to the classic of Turkmen literature continues to “grow”. Saragt Babayev is assisted by one of the students to carry out the photographic chronicle of the monument construction.

“We try to record every step of the work done on video and film, as I have a plan to write a book dedicated to the creation of the Makhtumkuli Fraghi monument,” says the sculptor. “This is a very large project, for comparison, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro that was built on the top of the mount has a height of 38 metres with its pedestal. The monument that we are going to erect will be a 60-meter height and will require about 1000 tons of bronze.

Soon the residents of Ashgabat will witness the launch of this monument. In the meantime, using computer technology, you can compare its dimensions with the height of its creator – a human.

Photo by Hoshgeldy GARADJAYEV