Protecting a reminder of a fallen political system is not high on the urban preservation list in Central Asian cities. Countless mosaics have been destroyed

Today, many of the cities of the Central Asian Stans are defined by a new “trophy city” architecture meant to reflect modernity and progress, and to glorify the leaders who planned them. Look a bit deeper, though, and many signs of the Soviet past are still there in the architecture and layout of the cities.

The Soviet elements of the cities are not just manifested in wide avenues and drab apartment blocks, but also in the vast murals and mosaics that adorn many buildings. The heritage comes from both the ideological drive of the Soviet state, but also a belief in inspiring citizens with beautiful everyday surroundings.

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