Roscosmos PR — Roscosmos delegation has taken part in the opening ceremony which honors the first spaceman – Yuri Gagarin – in London.
The figure placed just off The Mall features the cosmonaut in his flight suit and standing on a globe. The statue is a gift from Roscosmos to the British Council, the organization that represents the UK culturally abroad.
The monument is a copy of one sited in the town of Lubertsy, just outside Moscow, where Gagarin trained as a foundry worker in his mid-teens.
Speaking at the ceremony, Roscosmos Head Vladimir Popovkin said: “Russians are very proud that [Gagarin] was Russian, but if you look at it more philosophically – he was a delegate from the whole world to space. He reminds us how we must be together in the exploration of space.”
V.Popovkin also read the address of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to the guests and participants of the ceremony.
The address speaks, in particular:
“I am sure that the monument to the first cosmonaut in London which Yury Gagarin had visited 50 years ago will facilitate friendship and cooperation between the people of Russia and the UK. New generations of Russian and British experts and researchers will continue the traditions of their predecessors with dignity”.
The other speakers at the ceremony were the cosmonaut’s daughter, Elena Gagarina, director of the Kremlin Museums, and His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent.