Monument to Yuri Gagarin Unveiled in Ashgabat
The capital of Turkmenistan has hosted an unveiling ceremony for a monument to cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, the first man in space. The monument was put up on the premises of the Education, Science and Culture Department of the Embassy of the Russian Federation.
Created by sculptor Aleksey Dmitrievich Leonov, the bronze bust depicts the smiling pioneer of the space era in his space suit. The sculptor said that he had made every effort to capture in bronze intrinsic qualities of human nature - love, compassion and positive emotions. And he succeeded brilliantly in it.
Among those attending the ceremony were representatives of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Ashgabat, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, the capital’s municipal administration, the Space Department of the Türkmenaragatnaşyk Agency, the mass media, and teachers of A. S. Pushkin Turkmen-Russian General Education School.
Prior to the ceremony, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Turkmenistan A. Blokhin delivered a welcome address to the event participants.
Although Alexander Viktorovich was only 10 years old in 1961, he distinctly remembers his feelings when he learned about the first-ever manned space flight. According to the Ambassador, Gagarin’s flight was a heroic feat accomplished just 16 years after the end of the Great Patriotic War and represented a remarkable triumph for the Soviet Union.
“All the nations that were part of the USSR have every right to be proud of this great breakthrough”, Blokhin said. The diplomat expressed gratitude to the Dialogue of Cultures – United World Fund that sponsored the monument, and Russian company Vozrozhdenie that helped to implement the architectural project and made the pedestal for the bust. The Russian Ambassador, who also thanked the ceremony attendees, stressed that the unveiling of the monument to Gagarin represented an important milestone for the Turkmen-Russian humanitarian cooperation.
Evgeny Beloglazov, a representative of Rossotrudnichestvo (the Russian Cooperation Agency), who also spoke before the ceremony, noted the importance of the event in the context of promoting the friendly Turkmen-Russian relations and announced that a new building of the Education, Science and Culture Department – Russian Culture House would open its doors in Ashgabat soon. And young people of Turkmenistan wishing to learn more about the great Russian culture and history are welcome to visit it.
Then, the Ambassador officially unveiled the monument and laid flowers.
The bronze busts like the one in Ashgabat have been erected in some 50 cities around the world.
Photo: Yuri SHKURIN