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Ancient Samarkand gets a modern makeover

Silk Road city turns into building site ahead of Sino-Russian summit

To prepare for hosting of this year's Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, history-drenched Samarkand -- Uzbekistan's second-largest city -- has undergone big changes.   © Reuters

SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan -- Known in its glory days as the Eastern Rome and the Turquoise Paradise, Samarkand’s historic identity of grand monuments and domes of shimmering blue is being redefined by a staggering array of building sites, excavators and new roads.

The heart of the ancient Silk Road has been subjected to a deep makeover in preparation for a Sept. 15 gathering of Central Asian leaders which includes both Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and President Xi Jinping of China -- the heads of the region’s two giant economies.  

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