A Monument to Yuri Gagarin Is Opened in Slovenia
The authorities of the Vitanje municipality in the northeast of the country plan to create the Alley of the Founding Fathers of Astronautics.
The monument to the first cosmonaut Yuri Alekseevich Gagarin was opened on Tuesday in a small town of Vitanje in the northeast of Slovenia. The Russian Embassy in Slovenia reported the news to the TASS correspondent.
“His name and feat will be an example for the next generations, who will create the future of high technology and explore the universe. Besides, this generation will promote cooperation between our two countries,” the Hero of Russia, test cosmonaut, the Mayor of Zvyozdny gorodok (a closed urban locality, a work settlement, in Moscow Region, Russia) Valery Tokarev stated at the Gagarin bust opening ceremony.
The event was attended by the Russian Ambassador to Slovenia Doku Zavgayev, the Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Slovenia Mitja Bervar, the Mayor of the Vitanje municipality Mirko Polutnik, the Governor of the Vladimir Region Svetlana Orlova. The appeal of the first woman-cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova to participants of the ceremony was read: “Dear Slovenian friends, I congratulate you on a landmark day in the history of Russian-Slovenian relations! For the first time in the history of the Slovenian state, a monument to the legendary man, the first cosmonaut of the Earth, the heritage of all mankind, Yuri Gagarin, will now be found in Slovenia.” Besides, the ceremony attendants managed to watch the movie “Gagarin. The First in the Space.”
The idea of installing the bust to Yuri Gagarin arose in March 2017 during the visit of the Ambassador of the Russian Federation Zavgayev to the town of Vitanje, which is associated with the biography of one of the first developers of space technology, the Austrian-Hungarian military engineer of German origin, Herman Potočnik Noordung (1892–1929). Since 2011, the Cultural Centre for European Space Technologies (CCEST) has been operating here, which deals with the problems of culture and space, actively interacting with Russian partners, including the Astronaut Training Centre in Zvyozdny gorodok. During the meeting of Zavgayev with the Mayor of the Vitanje municipality Mirko Polutnik and the CCEST founder, famous Slovenian cultural figure, Dragan Zhivadinov, an agreement was reached to install a bronze bust to Yuri Gagarin in the CCEST main hall by the Day of Astronautics.
In the future, the authorities of Vitanje are planning, in cooperation with the Russian embassy and CCEST, to create the Alley of the Founding Fathers of Astronautics in the town. The Tsiolkovsky’s House-Museum in Kaluga, collaborates from the Vladimir Region and a number of other regions of Russia have already joined this idea.