Yuri Gagarin (1934-68)
Statue by Anatoly Novikov
On 12 April 1961 the Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Gargarin, became the first human being to travel into space. In 2011, to mark the 50th anniversary of Gagarin's flight, the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, presented this statue to the British Council. Its permanent home here at the Royal Observatory was chosen to reflect the long association of Greenwich with exploration of the oceans and of the heavens.
The statue is a copy of one by Novikov, commissioned in 1984 by the town of Lyubertsy, Russia, where Gagarin was originally an apprentice steel maker.
Installation generously facilitated by Roscosmos and the British Council, and supported by OAO Sovcomflot, Aeroflot, and the Russian State Railways.