Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament congratulating Historic Scotland on commemorating the first man in space in a stone tablet at Skara Brae.
The Stone, which now takes its place on the time line and which leads from the reception area to the Neolithic village, was unveiled at a well attended ceremony last Saturday (12/04 ).
Mr Gibson, who addressed the gathering including the Deputy Governor of Ugra Province, the Russian Consul General in Scotland as well as Cosmonaut Grescko, (who had worked with Yuri Gagarin), said:
"It was a fantastic day. By my count there were about 7 TV crews there, the bulk of which were Russian. As I said in my speech, the unveiling of the stone is about friendship and links. Given the reaction of the Orkney community to the Russian delegation, I am sure that bonds across the continent will strengthen."
"Historic Scotland deserves huge credit for agreeing to include the achievement of the first man in space on their timeline. I was first contacted by tour guide Bob Miller and Russian documentary film maker Alexander Korobko to petition Historic Scotland for an inclusion of a stone to recognise Yuri Gagarin's place in history as the first man in space. I knew it made sense and eventually so did Historic Scotland, and the excellent ceremony the other day coupled with the worldwide exposure that both Orkney and Skara Brae received proved to be so."
"The stone now sits equally and proudly alongside the stone which commemorates the first man on the moon. I am sure that the increasing numbers of visitors to Skara Brae will be proud to see a stone which represents their nation as they make their way to the village itself."
"Given the recent discovery of possible links between Orcadian and Slavic DNA there is considerable interest in the inter cultural dialogue between these two important areas of Northern Europe."
Note to editor:
Copy of Motion
That the Parliament congratulates Historic Scotland for commemorating the first man in space on a stone tablet in the timeline that leads from the reception centre to Skara Brae neolithic village; recalls that this groundbreaking achievement by Yuri Gagarin and the Soviet space programme is set equally and proudly alongside the stone which marks the first man on the moon from NASA; commends Historic Scotland for recognising and commemorating these pioneering achievements in its timeline, and further notes the likely Slav ancestry of residents of Skara Brae built around 3100 BC and the pride of latterday visitors who recognise these cultural links in our prehistory.