In the Soviet Union, the authorities are spending millions of dollars restoring architectural treasures throughout the country.
GV The Registan in Samarkand
SV Entrance to Registan with people up steps
GV PAN Inner courtyard of Registan
SV Men at work restoring tiles (3 shots)
GV INTERIOR Domed ceiling PAN DOWN TO architects at work
MCU Alexander Stupin, architect in charge of restoration with assistant consulting design sheets
CU PULL OUT Man working at touching up delicate paint-work on wall tiles (2 shots)
SV PAN Intricate design patterns of hand painted ceilings and walls (MUSIC STARTS) (2 shots)
SV & GV EXTERIOR Intricate design work on outer wall and Mosque (2 shots)
GV Registan dominating skyline of Samarkand
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Background: In the Soviet Union, the authorities are spending millions of dollars restoring architectural treasures throughout the country. In Samarkand, the second largest city of Uzbekistan, renovation work on a sixteenth century mosque has been in progress since 1974 and it will soon be back to its original splendour.
SYNOPSIS: The Registan is the central square in the old city of Samarkand. Its classical architecture has been acclaimed by scholars and artists since it was built on the instructions of the medieval ruler, Tamerlane. It was destined to be the capital of an empire, but the city was destroyed by envious conquerors. Now tourists follow in the footsteps of Genghis khan and Alexander the Great.
Skilled craftsmen have been working for the past five years to reverse the effect of time and tyrant. Damaged facings have been recreated, and parts of the building structural reinforced.
Painstaking work has resulted in the miraculous rebirth of the splendid Golden Hall. The operation is being carried out under the guidance of architect, Alexander Stupin. He has become renowned for his restoration work throughout the Soviet Union, including his home city of Leningrad. The work is a fitting tribute to the many outstanding scholars, writers and artists of the East, whose names are associated with Samarkand. The astronomer Ulugbek, author of many scientific discoveries, founded an observatory here. Countless myths and legends have grown up around Samarkand. The engineering skills of the twentieth century and the remote past exist side by side, complementing and enriching one another. It is a harmony of purpose appropriate to the original designs.
Gradually the dream city of Tamerlane and the empire builders is returning to its former majesty.