The Centre of Europe
and a Man Named Proctor
The legend of the man named Proctor who placed a monument to the
centre of Asia in Kyzyl has never been satisfactorily proven or disproven,
despite the efforts of many. We present here the information sent our way,
as a guide to those who may take up the challenge of finding out more about this
- Glen Cowan reports that the centre of Asia monument would have
been somewhere in Transcarpathia, in Uzhgorod or Chop. Google returns
- Due to its advantageous location (the geographic centre of Europe was
defined just here and the special monument since 1862 testifies to this
event), the province had established an extensive economical and
cultural relations with Europe.
- Alan Leighton reports that any declaration that the Englishman was Carruthers can be flatly disproved by the mention of an English "tourist" who set up a monument on the banks of the Yenisei ---
in a book published in Moscow before Carruthers even set foot in Tuva.
- The information that the monument was placed by a guy named Proctor
originally came from someone in Tuva, perhaps at the TNIIYaLI --- maybe Rada Chakar?
- How does all this square with Maenchen-Helfen's description of Safyanov's farm, and its location at another "saldam" (river
crossing), near Kyzyl? Did the same people who divulged the Proctor
information also tell about Safyanov, or is there a written reference to
- Masahiko Todoriki has been the most serious seeker of the old "Centre of
Asia" monument. He reports that the present monument was placed in
Kyzyl in 1964(?) and it is not the same one that the English man built. As reported in Otto J.
Manchen-Helfen's "Journey to Tuva", it was settled in town called Saldam, Tozhu, north-east region of
In the summer of 2000, Riki went to Tuva and asked about this monument, speaking to several old
people living there. Riki then found the "considerable pole" of the old Center
of Asia monument. Unfortunately, his broken camera didn't work properly, so
he has to return for a photo.
- Three people in Kyzyl independently named Saldam as the location of the
old Center of Asia monument.
- Ralph Leighton reports seeing "Saldam" on a map used or published by
Carruthers in "Unknown Mongolia," and it is where Toora Khem is.