­Vienna marks 50 year’s since Gagarin’s flight

An exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Yury Gagarin’s historic first flight into space has opened in the Austrian capital.

The display was unveiled on Thursday evening at Kunsthalle Wien exhibition center. It features dozens of photographs, paintings and installations dedicated to space. About 100 works by more than 50 artists, including Andy Warhol and Russian artists Vladimir Dubosarsky and Alexander Vinogradov, reflect the major impact that man venturing into space has had on people and of course art.

Austrian President Heinz Fischer said at the opening that he still remembers the day when he learnt about the first animal to orbit Earth. “I recall standing on Hittsingerbrjukke station and buying a newspaper. On the front page I see the message that the first living creature – a dog called Laika – has traveled to space. Then I searched for other newspapers to read more about this event, I was full of admiration and amazed,” the president said at the opening.  

Titled “Space. Art and Dream” (Weltraum. Die Kust und ein Traum), the display has been organized with the participation of the Museum of Natural History in Vienna, the Russian Embassy in Austria and the Russian Center of Science and Culture in Vienna.

The display highlights the first man in space Yury Gagarin and everything connected with his name. From the street sign Juri Gagarin Strasse in the German town of Fürstenwalde, to books, newspapers and magazines in German with the image of the first cosmonaut, dolls and busts of the Soviet icon.

Russian and Austrian cosmonauts – Aleksandr Volkov and Franz Viehböck also attended the opening of the display in vienna. “It was pleasant to learn that The Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Mister Fisher will take part in the exhibition opening. I am deeply grateful for the warm words he said. When we learned that Franz Viehböck would be attending the opening, we decided to invite his ‘star brother’ with whom he flew to space with. This year will be 20 years since their flight,” Sergey Nechaev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Austria told RIA Novosti news agency.

The display at Kunsthalle Wien exhibition center will be on through August 15.

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