Gagarin monument to be unveiled at Greenwich Observatory

A monument to the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, will be moved to the premises of the Royal Observatory Greenwich and unveiled on Thursday, the British Council told Interfax.

The monument unveiled outside of the British Council London headquarters on the Mall on July 14, 2011, will be moved to the premises of the Royal Observatory Greenwich - the place of its permanent deployment. The unveiling ceremony is due on March 7, the British Council said.

Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko, Federal Space Agency deputy head Vitaly Davydov and the astronaut's daughter, Moscow Kremlin Museums Director Yelena Gagarina will attend the ceremony.

The British Council said that the observatory terrace would be named after Gagarin.

Paul De Quincey, Director of British Council Russia, said it was a very important day for Russia and the United Kingdom: the countries united to pay tribute to the first man in space.

The installation of the Yuri Gagarin monument on the terrace of the Royal Observatory Greenwich showed that Yuri Gagarin still inspired admiration and respect in Russia 52 years after his mission, the UK and the entire world, De Quincey said.

The monument presented to the UK by Roscosmos on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Gagarin flight was made in Izhevsk. This is a precise copy of the monument built by acclaimed sculptor Anatoly Novikov in 1984.

The original monument is installed in Lubertsy, near Moscow, where Gagarin studied at a vocational school in 1949-1951.

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