Sunflower Educational Center in cooperation with Russian Center New York, Cradle of Aviation Museum, and Dialogue of Cultures – United World Foundation are honored to announce that today – June 30, 2012 the bust of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, has been unveiled at Long Island’s Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, NY.

Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin – a 28-year veteran of the Soviet and Russian space programs – said the bust was more than just a likeness of the first man in space. It was a symbol of the new era of understanding between US and Russia, he said, as cited by Newsday. He also stressed, that our joint International Space Station project is not just cooperation in the hi-tech engineering field, it is also, and probably more important, cooperation in the field of simple human relations. “We talk, we get to know each other, we begin to understand our countries cultures and better,” said Mikhail.

“All of us can recall the time when we had to stay separate from our colleagues [in the United States],” he said. “We had to hide our secrets. Now it is changing.”

“Gagarin belongs not only to Russia but to all countries and nations, and it’s important to us that his bust will be part of the collection of the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Long Island, New York,” said Andrei Yushmanov, of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York.

“Russia and the US have much in common, not only as allies during the Second World War, but as nations which have always been eager to travel to the unknown, and to discover new space; Gagarin symbolizes this aspiration.”

“And I believe that it is very important for us… to further promote our countries’ cooperation not only in the space exploration program, but in all spheres,” he added.

More Photos from the event may be found here(c)

Mayor of the village of Garden City where Museum is located, pointed out the importance of the event to his community. “Gagarin was a hero. Mikhail (addressing Mikhail Tyurin) is a hero, so are all cosmonauts and astronauts,” he said. And it is crucially important to work together not only in the space program but in other spheres as well.

The bronze bust is a gift from a Russian businessman and philanthropist Ruslan Bairamov, founder of the Dialogue of Cultures – United World Foundation and Ethnomir ( project.

Source (partially): NewsdayRIA Novosti