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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Aliyev Will Get 3-Meter Sculpture

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Thousands of Azeris on Tuesday paid tribute at the cemetery where former President Heidar Aliyev was buried amid a week of national mourning, as officials unveiled plans to memorialize the former KGB agent who ruled here for some 30 years.

A 3-meter-tall sculpture of Aliyev will be erected at his grave at the Alley of Honorable Burial where his body was laid to rest Monday in a state funeral, according to local reports.

The statue will be officially dedicated Dec. 12, 2004, a year after Aliyev's death Friday of congestive heart failure following months in hospitals.

A memorial complex containing a museum to Aliyev will also be built on one of the hillsides around the capital Baku, Mayor Hajibala Abutalibov said.

The plans for honoring Aliyev were discussed Tuesday by sculptor Omar Eldarov and President Ilham Aliyev, the son of the former president who was elected in an internationally criticized vote in October -- creating the first political dynasty in the former Soviet Union.

The younger Aliyev has pledged to continue his father's policies, who led the country closer to the West while keeping tight control over government, allegedly fostering widespread corruption.

The outpouring of public mourning for Aliyev continued Tuesday as the sun warmed the city, with crowds lining up to the sounds of somber music to pay respects at the former leader's flower-covered grave, the whole procession broadcast live on television. Ilham Aliyev also visited the grave Tuesday with a large contingent of government leaders and foreign diplomats.

"Our dear president has left us, but he will always be with us," said one of the mourners, 28-year-old student Jeyhun Farzaliyev.

Leaders of the opposition, who clashed violently with police in riots that left one dead after Ilham Aliyev's Oct. 15 election, also expressed condolences to the family.

On Monday, more than 1 million people crowded the streets of Baku as Heidar Aliyev's closed coffin was carried through the city on a gun carriage to be buried.