John Lennon statue tour proposed to mark Beatle's 80th birthday

Sculptor Laura Lian wants statue of musician to tour boroughs around Merseyside

A sculpture of John Lennon is being proposed for a homecoming tour commemorating the former Beatle in the year he would have turned 80.

The sculptor who made the six-foot bronze statue of Lennon says she would like it to go on public display in the singer’s native Merseyside by 21 September – International Day of Peace.

Laura Lian started sculpting the Lennon statue two years ago. Since its completion, the sculpture has spent most of the time inside the Hard Rock Cafe in London. She wants it to tour all of the boroughs around Merseyside over the next two years. It is currently at the Castle Foundry in Liverpool.

Lian, who has made statues for the former Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone and Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, said: “With all the trouble in the world about statues … the pandemic and the strife, it’s so right that Lennon can go back to where he belongs. For my generation growing up amid protests against the Vietnam war and the threat of nuclear war, Lennon was an inspiration in the way he inspired us to dream of peace.

“I had always intended for the statue to have a permanent home up on Merseyside and at one stage it looked like the Lennon statue was going to be erected in the Strawberry Fields area of Liverpool. That project fell through but when the metropolitan mayor of Merseyside, Steve Rotheram, suggested it should go up in the borough of Sefton, I thought that was a great idea. Every year a borough on Merseyside is nominated as the borough of culture and this year it’s Sefton’s turn.”

She added that, given that 2020 marks 80 years since Lennon was born and is also the 40th anniversary of his murder, it “was also apposite that his statue comes home to Liverpool”.

Stephen Watson, the executive director at Sefton council, said: “Sefton has always been proud to support artists, and indeed the borough is already home to a number of acclaimed pieces of art …

“If this statue was to go on tour of Merseyside, we would be willing to maintain an open dialogue with Laura Lian, and other artists, about any future opportunities for artwork to be displayed in our beautiful borough.”


Henry McDonald

The GuardianTramp

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