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John Lennon memorial statue unveiled in Liverpool

Worldwide day of remembrance marks what would have been 70th birthday

Pic: PA Photos
A monument to John Lennon has been unveiled in Liverpool by his first wife Cynthia and son Julian.

Today (October 9) would have been the late Beatle's 70th birthday.

The statue, a globe with doves flying above, it is designed to be a monument for peace and a shrine for fans who want to pay tribute in Lennon’s home city.

"We come here with our hearts to honour dad and pray for peace and say thank you to each and every one of you and everybody involved in the celebrations today," Julian said.

Cynthia, who was married to John from 1962-68, added: "I think the mourning is over for John. I think it's time to celebrate, which is what we're doing. Think about [anything in] his life that was positive and just enjoy that. Enjoy the joy that he had and that we all have from his music."

Among the 2000 onlookers, who sang Lennon's anthem 'Give Peace A Chance', was The Beatles first drummer Pete Best. He said the statue "captures all the aspirations" of Lennon.

Around the world, fans are gathering to pay respects in different ways.

Lennon's widow Yoko Ono is in Reykjavik performing with their son Sean.

In New York, Lennon's original band The Quarrymen will headline a tribute concert. Fans are gathering to remember the legend in Central Park as the area of the park known as Strawberry Fields, near the spot where Lennon was shot dead in December 1980.

Ono posted a video message to mark today telling fans: "I know John was not expecting so much love to still come from you. But he would have been very happy to know it. Thank you, thank you, thank you."

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