Three new republican museum-reserves - Saraishyk, Botai and Bozok were opened in western and northern Kazakhstan. The location of the museums is not far from the capital city, Astana. The Kazakh government has concluded the first stage of the ‘Sacral Geography of Kazakhstan’ project. The project is part of a series of documentary films that were prepared together with BBC World News. The films, titled the ‘Sacral Geography of Kazakhstan,’ ‘The Golden Warrior’ and ‘Mausoleums of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi and Aisha Bibi’are made to promote the cultural image of Kazakhstan. The films will be premiered this summer.

AKTOTY RAIMKULOVA, KAZAKH VICE MINISTER OF CULTURE AND SPORTS

 - Four documentaries about holy places of Kazakhstan were filmed. We plan to broadcast these films on world-famous television channels like BBC World and National Geographic. Our goal is to further promote these documentaries.

To date, more than 600 facilities are enlisted as holy places, of which 185 are of republican significance and 487 are of regional importance. Three tourist centers will be built for the convenience of tourists arriving in Kazakhstan. The centers will be located in the tracts of Tamgaly, the Ulytau Mountains and the Otyrar settlement in southern Kazakhstan.

BERIK ABDYGALIULY, DIRECTOR, ‘SACRAL KAZAKHSTAN’ RESEARCH CENTER:

- The tourist center is a kind of museum, which also includes a café, a hotel and an administration, all in one. If visitors come and want to spend a night and visit the holy site at night, they can book a room here and eat at the café. If they are interested in history, the museum staff can provide them with information.

The search for the new holy sites will not be limited to these developments. According to experts, new expeditions are expected to be held in the near future.

RASHID KUZEMBAYEV, CHAIRMAN, ‘KAZAKH TOURISM’ NATIONAL COMPANY:

- We plan to hold a number of expeditions in Kazakhstan. The Great Silk Road expedition will cover the cities of Almaty, Taraz, Shymkent, Turkestan, Kyzylorda and Baikonur. This is the new Silk Road. The famous Italian and Polish traveller Jacek Palkiewicz is expected to join the expedition team. Moreover, the team of National Geographic Russia will also participate in the expedition. It is scheduled to start in July.

The activities as part of the ‘Sacral Geography of Kazakhstan’ project started last year at the initiative of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. A large number of archeological excavations and research expeditions were held all over the country. The project is aimed at reviving the culture and promotes the historical and cultural heritage of Kazakhstan.

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