BELGRADE, January 4. /TASS/. Unidentified persons have damaged a monument to the world’s first man in space Yuri Gagarin in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, Head of the Consular Department of Russia’s Embassy to Croatia Vladimir Polyanin told TASS on Wednesday.
"The Gagarin monument has been vandalized: the pedestal marble has been scorched and the inscription has been damaged," Polyanin said.
To all appearances, this looks like an act of hooliganism committed in the first days of the New Year, he added.
The monument to Yuri Gagarin was opened in Zagreb in October last year. Its opening was timed to coincide with the 55th anniversary of the first manned flight in outer space, which the famous Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin performed on April 12, 1961.
Earlier in 2016, a bust monument to the world renowned Russian poet Alexander Pushkin was opened in Zagreb. In future, a monument to the great Russian poet Sergei Esenin is planned to be opened there.
The ceremony of opening the Gagarin monument in the Tresnjevka Park was attended by Russian Ambassador to Croatia Anvar Azimov and Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic.
The Zagreb mayor praised the opening of monuments to great Russian figures in the Croatian capital.
"It is a great honor for us to get a monument to the great Russian poet and now a monument to the cosmonaut. Despite numerous differences in political approaches and cultural development, our peoples are united by the common warm Slavic soul," he said.