The Monument to the Conquerors of Space

I received some copies of Lost Republics this week and I noticed that I neglected to tell the publisher, Salmon Poetry (who have done a wonderful job by the way), what the monument on the cover is actually called.

It's called the monument To The Conquerors of Space and it's located in the All-Russian Exhibition Centre (commonly referred to as VDNKh) in Moscow. The cover photo was taken by my brother, Brian Moore.

The base of the monument houses The State Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics which is well worth a look if you ever find yourself at the far end of Prospekt Mira.

It's an astonishing place, VDNKh, part theme park to a state that is no more, part souvenir market and part antiquated funfair. It's both slightly at odds with modern Moscow and a bizarre window on what makes Moscow what it is. The monument To the Conquerors of Space is one of the more memorable structures in the park; it, of course, commemorated one of the most important scientific achievements of the Soviet Union but also represents key aspirations of contemporary Russia. All over Moscow are reminders of things that have been done, monuments to past achievements, milestones and wars. The city is increasingly defined, however, by its new structures and decorations; by a desire to not fall behind, to not simply be sucked up into history.

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