I seem to associate this story with van Vogt and the 1940s. Space trips are so long humans are forced to switch bodies with simians while their own bodies are in suspended animation. This involves some kind of sacrifice on the part of the astronauts - can't remember just why. Eventually faster trips are possible and the practice is abandoned. The last line describes a statue dedicated to the scientist who developed the process: 'At the base of the statue is a terrified ape with a man with the face of a god standing above him' - something like that. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
This is Father of the Stars by Frederik Pohl.
Description of the body-switching
The smith process allowed these men to use their minds to control chimpanzee bodies-easily bred, utterly expendable- while their own bodies rested in the deep-freeze for all the long years between the stars.
The bas-relief and the body, they are ape. But the statue that rises above them is a god's.