Космонавту Юрию Гагарину поставят памятник в Лондоне
Юрий Гагарин, первый человек в космосе, совершивший свой полет 50 лет назад, удостоится памятника на улице Молл в Лондоне, пишет The Guardian.
"Британский совет заявил, что отметит достижения русского космонавта, поставив его памятник напротив статуи британского путешественника капитана Кука", - пишет автор статьи Марк Браун.
Андреа Роуз, директор совета по вопросам изобразительных искусств, отметила, что успешная миссия космонавта на корабле "Восток-1" "важна для всех нас".
"Самоотверженность и храбрость космических миссий выше всяких похвал, и поэтому мы решили отдать дань уважения Гагарину как символу целеустремленности и пытливого разума", - заявила она.
Роуз добавила, что в знаниях Запада об истории космоса прослеживается дисбаланс. На Западе знают историю миссии Apollo и Нила Армстронга, но невероятная история Гагарина известна меньше.
Статуя будет установлена 14 июля и выполнена по образцу памятника, стоящего у входа в Люберецкое ремесленное училище номер 10, в котором учился Гагарин.
Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin to be honoured with statue in London
British Council celebrates 50th anniversary of Gagarin's orbit of the Earth with an exhibition and statue in the Mall
Yuri Gagarin, the son of peasant farmworkers who instantly became the most famous man on Earth when he went into space and orbited the planet 50 years ago, is to be celebrated with a statue on the Mall in London.
The British Council announced that it is going to mark the achievements of the great Russian explorer by placing him opposite the statue of a great British explorer, Captain Cook.
Andrea Rose, the council's visual arts director and driving force behind the project, said the cosmonaut's successful mission in Vostok 1 was "a story that is of importance to all of us".
She added: "The fragility and the daring and the bravery of the missions are something beyond recognition and are reasons why we wanted to celebrate Gagarin as a symbol of aspiration, as well as intellectual curiosity."
Rose said there was an imbalance in western knowledge of space history. We know the story of Apollo and Neil Armstrong but fewer of us now know the incredible story of Gagarin. As well as the statue, the British Council will host an exhibition on his life which will include rare and intimate photographs lent by the Gagarin family as well as artefacts such as an ejector seat and the first space suit, SK-1.
The project partly stemmed from Rose's professional connection with Gagarin's daughter, Elena Gagarina, director of the Kremlin museums where, next year, a Henry Moore exhibition will be held. Rose had been talking to Gagarina about lending Moore's double-edged sculpture – which has for the past 40 years been outside the Houses of Parliament – to Russia to display in the Kremlin gardens.
Rose then began thinking about what could be brought from Russia as a possible replacement for Moore's sculpture and so began the hunt for a suitable Gagarin statue.
The one chosen is a copy of the Gagarin statue which stands outside the cosmonaut's former school - Lyubertsy Vocational School No 10. The authorities there were reluctant to give up the original so the Russian space agency offered to have a cast made from the original moulds.
It will be installed on the Mall on 14 July for a year. The date and spot were chosen to mark the 50th anniversary of Gagarin's trip to London where he met the prime minister Harold Macmillan.
The statue will be made from zinc alloy and stand on a white Portland stone plinth. "We don't want kids swinging from the orbit," said Rose.
There are lots of more formal statues of Gagarin but this jaunty one was praised by the cosmonaut's biographer, Piers Bizony. "It is a reflection of the man," he said. "Yuri Gagarin was charming, funny, sweet-natured and kind."
The statue is also a way of fostering good relations between the UK and Russia. Vitaly Davydov, state secretary and deputy head of the Russian space agency, said: "Gagarin belongs not only to Russia but to all countries and nations, and it's important to us that the statue of Yuri Gagarin will be shown in London – one of the world's most international and intercultural cities – to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first manned spaceflight.
"Russia and the UK have much in common, not only as allies during the second world war and victory gained through sacrifice, but as nations which have always been eager to travel to the unknown and to discover new space. Gagarin symbolises this aspiration."