On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin in 1899, the idea arose among the local intelligentsia in Ashgabat to erect a monument to the poet with funds donated by folk. Money was donated not only by officers and officials of various departments, but also by workers and soldiers of the local garrison. When i was installed, it became the southernmost monument to the poet in the Russian Empire.
Engineer-colonel Mikhail Tumanov, who supervised the work, decided to confine to a bust, reproducing the head’s model of the famous Moscow monument on Tverskoy Boulevard. The design was developed by Captain Grigory Butuzov, the military engineer who was then serving in Ashgabat, and who was assisted by regional architect Lieutenant Fyodor Okunev. The bronze bust was cast in St. Petersburg at the Berto art casting factory.
The stone for a square base, a massive tetrahedral curbstone and a slender octahedral column topped with a carved capital, on which the bust rests, was delivered to Ashgabat from the Transcaucasia.
Famous master-stonecutter Rakhim Abidbaev was invited from Samarkand to process it.
It was planned to invite Grigory Alexandrovich Pushkin to the monument’s opening, but the son of the great poet, after transferring his father’s archives to the Rumyantsev library, did not leave his estate near Vilnius.
The grand opening took place on January 29, 1901. When the white cover was unveiled, a beautiful slender monument appeared before the eyes of the applauding audience, which harmoniously fit into the surrounding landscape of the park in the very city center, which, like the street passing nearby, was named after the poet on the same day. Fixed on four sides of the curbstone were black stone boards with inscriptions in gold in the old spelling: “To the pride of Russia, Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin”, dates from the poet’s life, and on two more boards there were lines from the immortal poem “I erected a monument to myself not made by hands”.
A little later, four curbstones were installed at the corners of the monument’s ground, connected by massive cast-iron chains.
The monument survived the 1948 earthquake and was restored for the 200th anniversary of the great poet’s birthday.