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By Ulan Nazarov
BISHKEK – The Kyrgyz government has decided, in observance of the country’s approaching 20th anniversary of independence, to replace the Statue of Liberty in Bishkek with a monument honouring Manas, whom legend credits with uniting the Kyrgyz tribes.
The government’s plans also call for a statue of Soviet-era writer Chingiz Aitmatov (1928-2006) to face the Manas monument.
Fundraising has begun, with the Manas and Aitmatov monuments expected to cost 28m KGS (US $627,000), Lenta.ru reported. Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev has personally contributed 1m KGS (US $22,000).
The government plans to unveil the Manas monument August 30, the eve of Independence Day.