Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Nature's follies

Nature's follies

Have little on human hubris. This much is well known. For more proof we bring you this BBC report

President Niyazov of Turkmenistan has ordered the construction of a palace made of ice in the heart of his desert country, one of the hottest on earth.

What could this palace accomplish?

"Our children can learn to ski," Mr Niyazov enthused, "we can build cafes there, and restaurants."

President Niyazov's extravagant buildings are a hallmark of his idiosyncratic regime.

He is currently building one of the biggest mosques in the world, and has a chain of conventional palaces.

But the latest have a special quality - of challenging Turkmenistan's desert environment.

As well as the ice palace, there is to be a vast aquarium. The projects tend now to be sites of recreation for the people, like a Disney-style theme park instead of state palaces.

This type of construction, man's triumph of nature was a hallmark of the 20's and 30's in the Soviet Union. Niyazov, styling himself as much an autocrat as Stalin, is keen to continue the grand tradition.

Negatively aside, if this palace will be ever built, it would be quite an awesome sight. Something out of myth and legend.


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