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                               Kazackstan Astana
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                              General Information
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Type.................: Docu
Platform.............: Docu



Video Format.........: H264
Resolution...........: 1920x1076
FPS..................: 25
Source...............: HDTV
Original Format......: PAL
Genre................: Documentary

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                                 Release Notes
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Astana, the new capital of Kazakhstan, is brash and grandioseùand wildly 
attractive to young strivers seeking success.

By John Lancaster

Photograph by Gerd Ludwig

	
The new capital of Kazakhstan does not lack for exotic buildings, some of them 
best described by irreverent local nicknames: the banana (a bright yellow office 
tower), seven barrels (a cluster of apartment towers), the cigarette lighter 
(the Ministry of Transport and Communications). But one such structure, a 
national monument called the Baiterek, does not lend itself to nicknames, for 
the simple reason that it looks like nothing else. Not on this planet, anyway.

Baiterek, which means "tall poplar tree" in Kazakh, is a 318-foot tower 
buttressed by an exoskeleton of white-painted steel. At the top is a gold-tinted 
glass sphere. According to the epigraph at its base, the monument represents the 
Kazakh myth of Samruk, a sacred bird that every year lays a golden eggùthe sunù
in the crown of an enormous tree of life. Its designer? None other than Nur¡
sultan Nazarbayev, the steelworker turned strongman who has run the country 
since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. He is said to have roughed out 
the original concept on a paper napkin.



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