Dismantled and relegated to a field on the outskirts of town, a massive likeness of the Father of the Bolshevik Revolution can’t get any respect in modern society. After decades spent lording over the city, Central Asia’s largest statue of Vladimir Lenin was finally removed from its plinth in downtown Khujand, Tajikistan in May of 2011.
Erected in 1974 on the 50th anniversary of Lenin’s death, when Khujand was then called Leninabad, official measurements put the statue at 12 meters in height, plus an additional 12 meters for the base. All together, this made the monument Central Asia’s largest statue of the former leader of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party. But by the dawn of the new millennium, Tajik officials felt the statue’s time had come and gone.
So it was with little ceremony and under the cover of darkness that a gigantic likeness of the former leader of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party was dismantled, whereupon his pieces were transported to an out-of-the-way park west of the city called Victory Field. Here Lenin was reassembled atop his perch, where he oversees a field.
All this is to say that Tajikistan has effectively relegated Lenin to the safest, deadest quadrant of its history. Back in the bustling sectors of its living, day-to-day world, Lenin’s former footsteps will eventually be occupied by a statue of the founder of Tajik statehood, Ismoili Somoni, where it will likely hold the title of Largest Somoni Statue on Earth.
Know Before You Go
Ask for directions after crossing the river. Watch out for cows.