Did you know that the only work of art on the Moon was sculpted by a Belgian?
Paul Van Hoeydonck, an Antwerp artist, made a statuette named "Fallen Astronaut". But, this statuette is not like any other, it has a unique feature. If one day you were to walk on the Moon, it is the only work of art that you could see! This is far from being insignificant. Furthermore, it was made by a Belgian!
But why was this piece of work made?
Apollo 15, a space program of NASA, suggested using the "Fallen Astronaut" to commemorate astronauts and cosmonauts who died during space exploration. On August 1, 1971, David Scott, a member of the Apollo 15 crew, erected the statue on the Moon next to a commemorative plate inscribed with the names of eight American astronauts and six Soviet cosmonauts.
What are the characteristics of the "Fallen Astronaut"?
This 8.5 cm high commemorative plate was manufactured in 1971. To sculpt it, Paul Van Hoeydonck had to follow very precise instructions. Indeed it entailed many constraints to create a statue which would then be placed on the Moon. The sculpture had to be light, solid and able to resist extreme temperature variations at the lunar surface. Moreover, it could not bear identification of a man or a woman or even any ethnic group.
Paul Van Hoeydonck has become the first artist in the world to have one of his works exhibited outside of our planet.