Yuri Gagarin bust installed in London’s Science Museum

The bust of the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin (1934-1968), has been installed in the Science Museum in London. It was solemnly unveiled on Wednesday in the museum’s permanent gallery titled Exploring Space.

"It's very important to me that our collection here tells the full story of the space program, and in most space museums in Europe and America all the technology is American," Museum Director Ian Blatchford told Russian reporters. That was why, he stressed, it was very important for him to perpetuate Gagarin’s memory. Blatchford noted that the bust will become part of the museum’s permanent exhibition.

"We signed a partnership this year with Tsiolokovsky space museum in Kaluga, and we are going to develop exhibition ideas together looking either at the pioneers of the Russian space program or future plans for the Russian program. Certainly I hope that for the next 10-20 years we will do more exhibitions about Russia," Blatchford promised.

The bust was donated to the museum by the "Dialogue of Cultures - One World" Foundation and was installed within the framework of the mutual Year of Science and Education of the UK and Russia marked in 2017.

The foundation’s President Ruslan Bayramov told TASS that the installation of the monument was coordinated within a short period of time. "The procedures took several months, which is fast enough, because our partners are close people in terms of values. We speak the same language, and we do not need to explain who Yuri Gagarin is, we have good synchronization," Bayramov said.

The project to install bronze statues dedicated to Yuri Gagarin in various countries began in 2011, and more than 40 busts of the world’s first cosmonaut have appeared in nearly 30 countries since then. The "Dialogue of Cultures - One World" Foundation established in 2005 has implemented more than 450 projects in different countries in close cooperation with international and Russian organizations, including UNESCO, the Russian Geographical Society and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

More on TASS website

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Yuri Gagarin. A sculpture by Alexei D. Leonov
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Ian Blatchford and Ruslan Bayramov