Big News Network (IANS)
Thursday 7th March, 2013
A monument to the world’s first man in space, Russian cosmonaut Yury Gagarin, unveiled in London in 2011, has been moved to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
The monument, the Russian space agency’s gift to Britain, was temporarily installed near the British Council headquarters on The Mall July 14, 2011, to mark the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s visit to London.
Gagarin’s eldest daughter Yelena, who is the director of the Moscow Kremlin museums, Russian ambassador to Britain Alexander Yakovenko and deputy Roscosmos chief Vitaly Davydov attended the ceremony.
“I would like to thank all people living in London for the support of the idea to place the statue in Greenwich park. I hope my father’s statue will be evoking only smiles, and I feel very happy today for Yury Gagarin, cosmonaut and man, who was dreaming of the sky, and at the same time always dreaming of home. And finally he found this beautiful home in Greenwich,” Yelena Gagarina said.
The monument is a copy of the monument to Gagarin in Lyubertsy town in Moscow region, where the future cosmonaut went to vocational school.
Gagarin visited London in July 1961, three months after his legendary flight.
He met members of the Foundry Workers Union during his visit, as he had worked as a foundryman before his career in aeronautics, as well as then British prime minister Harold Macmillan and Queen Elizabeth II.
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