Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ceiling-Gazing in Bishkek

A ceiling-theme is beginning to creep into the postings of this blog, starting with the tesselated fresco madness of Uzbekistan's holy Muslim architecture. This installment features just three of the many ceiling murals of Biskek's State Historical Museum. While the entire second floor treats the Great Communist Revolution, with a great musty assortment of anachronistic tripe, like mouldering manifestos, yellowing newspaper clippings, and an eerie, intimidating Lenin showcase, the third floor focuses on Kyrgyzstan.

The most interesting of the ceiling murals was this one, of a clearly anti-nuclear-proliferation theme. Dean Starnes, writing in the Lonely Planet guidebook, identifies the skull-masked cowboy riding the bomb Dr. Strangelove style as Ronald Regan!

Another anti-A Bomb mural, but this one distinctly Kyrgyz in treatment. Note the strangely doll-like boy, riding naked (but emasculated) on a horse. Perhaps this has to do with radiation poisoning?

A reindeer woman with her reindeer.

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