To mark the 50th anniversary of his visit to Britain, a statue of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was installed outside the offices of the British Council near Trafalgar Square in London, one year ago today. The full story was covered in episode 47. At the time the British Council announced that the statue had planning permission restriction and had to be removed to another location after twelve months.
Twelve months on it is still there!
Details of what actually transpired is not clear. This is what I do know. In May the Russian embassy stated that they are were seeking an extension for the statue to remain in its current location whilst they sought another. The British Council have indicated that Roscosmos are visiting London to discuss the future of the statue on 16th July – two days from now. So a decision may be imminent. I will issue the next newsletter once once an announcement is made.
How is the campaign going to bring the statue to Manchester? No substantial change. The local council is willing to engage, assist and possibly offer suggestions for a city centre site but cannot offer financial assistance. There are now 704 individuals who support the campaign via the online petition. Authors Brian Harvey and Bert Vis along with Tony Lloyd MP have now joined Sir Patrick Moore and Apollo 15 astronaut AL Worden who have all signed the open letter.
You can add your name to the petition here. More details in a newsletter – as soon as an announcement is made.