The Royal Observatory, Greenwich Park, SE10
Sculptor Anatoly Novikov Zinc-alloy 2013
Yuri Gagarin was the first man to look down upon our planet from outer space when his Soviet space craft orbited the earth on 12th April 1961. Gagarin was not just a hero of the Soviet Union and when he visited London, just months after his successful flight, vast crowds came out the greet him. He was too valuable to be allowed into space again, but tragically died in 1968 while testing a MiG-15 fighter plane. This monument was a gift from the Russian space agency to mark the 50th anniversary of his flight and was unveiled by his daughter who, unlike her father, lived to see the US moon landings in 1969 and the fall of the Soviet Union. It was temporarily placed on Pall Mall, but has now found permanent residence in the grounds of the Royal Observatory.
This monument is one of over 200 featured in the latest edition of London's Monuments.