TASHKENT -- A disabled Uzbek man has ridden over 500 kilometers in his wheelchair -- in the hope of crowning President Islam Karimov on Independence Day, RFE/RL's Uzbek Service reports.
Mavlonkhon Turaev, 38, arrived in Tashkent on August 26 from his native Namangan province in eastern Uzbekistan.
Turaev brought with him a crown he said he made out of silver and precious stones.
He told journalists that he plans to crown Karimov on September 1, Uzbekistan's Independence Day.
Turaev said he went to the presidential office on August 26 to explain his plan, but when officials said they would take the crown and give it to Karimov, he declined to leave it with them.
Turaev said the crown, which weighs 6 kilograms, cost around $1,000 to make. He said it is a replica of the crown of 14th-century Central Asian ruler Timur (Tamerlane).
Timur was born into the Turco-Mongol tribe of Barlas, not far from Samarkand, and is considered the founder of the Timurid Empire and Timurid dynasty in Central Asia.