Turkey-Armenia friendship symbol being demolished

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The demolition of a huge Turkish statue devoted to reconciliation with Armenia has begun, months after the prime minister described it as a "freak".

The 30m-high statue - depicting two human figures facing each other - was erected on a mountain in the Turkish city of Kars, near the Armenian border.

Local authorities commissioned it several years ago to symbolise an end to decades of enmity and suspicion.

Artists had tried to save the statue, which could take 10 days to dismantle.

The company carrying out the demolition has already cut down one of the figures using a crane, witnesses said.

Rapprochement stalled

The work, called the Statue of Humanity, was the creation of well-known Turkish artist Mehmet Aksoy.

When finished, it would have had one figure extending a hand to the other.

"I am really sorry, sorry on behalf of Turkey," Anatolia news agency quoted the sculptor as saying. "They can demolish it, we will re-make it."...

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