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Serbia Statue honouring the first human in space removed after a barrage of complaints

A BELGRADE statue celebrating Yuri Gagarin has been removed after less than a week following a barrage of criticisms and complaints.

The tribute to the first person in space was placed on top of a plinth in the Serbian capital last week, but many critics lost their head over the “undersized” bust.

It was removed quickly and will be replaced by a new bust commissioned by Belgrade city manager Goran Vesic who said neither he nor state authorities had any idea of the design. 

Mr Gagarin was considered a hero by many people across the world and particularly in the Soviet Union after he became the first person in space, orbiting the Earth on April 12 1962.

He was killed in 1968 aged just 34 when a routine training flight from Chkalovsky Air Base crashed.

Mr Vesic said: "Gagarin will have a memorial in Belgrade worthy of the contribution that he has made to humanity.”

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