The statue, which is a gift from the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, is placed just off The Mall outside the British Council offices, and opposite the statue of another great explorer Captain James Cook. The monument showing Gagarin standing on a globe in his spacesuit, is a copy of one that can be found just outside Moscow, in the town of Lyubertsy where Gagarin worked in his teens as a foundry worker.
In addition to the statue, an exhibition called 'Gagarin in Britain' is also taking place at the British Council from 19 July to 13 September 2011. The display includes items from the Vostok manned space program, the first space suit, and an ejector seat from the model used by Gagarin when he parachuted out of Vostok 1 at an altitude of 7km.
It is an excellent opportunity to see some of the earliest space items that marked the beginning of space exploration so get along there if you are in the city – I certainly hope to in August!