The leader of Turkmenistan paid tribute to his favourite dog breed and unveiled a 50ft golden statue.
Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov revealed the bizarre Turkmen Alabi dog sculpture on Wednesday during a ceremony.
Mr Berdymukhamedov has been vocal about his love for the breed and often dedicates poems and books to the native dog.
He has previously described it as ‘a symbol of achievement and victory.’
The ruler, who came into power in 2007, even gifted an Alabi puppy to Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
According to the Turkmenistan government the huge golden statues stands at 20ft tall and is covered in 24ct gold leaf.
It has been placed in a new area of Ashgabat in the capital city, reports Mail Online,
The area has been created to house civil servants and consists of schools, parks, shops, cinemas, wedding venues and sport grounds as well as white marble apartment buildings.
In a press release issued by the local government, it describes the status as showcasing the “respect and honour to the exemplary courage and cordial heart of these wonderful animals.”
The release also adds the sculpture will “highlight their role in historical destiny of the nation and the place which Alabis occupy in the life of the nation.”
Historian Victoria Clement revealed the Alabi dog breed “assists the state in solidifying the idea of the territory of Turkmenistan as firmly Turkmen.”
Mr Berdymukhamedov assumed office in February 2007 – in 2015 he honoured himself and unveiled a gold statue of him riding a golden horse.
Former leader Saparmurat Niyazov also had a golden statue of himself erected, it would rotate according to where the sun was.
However, in January 2010 it was taken down after Mr Berdymukhamedov ordered its removal, following Mr Niyazov’s death in 2006, reports BBC.
The statue was known as the Arch of Neutrality.