With John Lennon‘s famous ‘IMAGINE’ piano set to go under the hammer this afternoon (October 17), auctioneer MICK FLEETWOOD has admitted that it should be preserved as a piece of British rock ‘n’ roll heritage.
As previously revealed on nme.com, the Beatles Story museum in Liverpool have made a plea for a bidder to step in to keep the piano, which is expected to fetch around £:1.5 million, in the UK. It has been on display at the museum for the last eight months.
Fleetwood‘s on-line rock ‘n’ roll and movie memorabilia auction company FleetwoodOwen, which he set up in March with former Bonhams man Ted Owen, is hosting the sale of Beatles memorabilia simultaneously this afternoon at the Hard Rock Cafes in London and New York, and online at [url=]www.fleetwoodowen.com.
He told nme.com: “I think we are very slow in Britain. We let every piece of history fly out the door and in particular in this market. We have produced the world’s finest artists in film and rock ‘n’ roll.”
But he added: “All these heavy-hitting foreigners come in and they recognise what they’re buying before we do. We are very slow to react when we have national treasure. That piano most certainly should stay in this country, it should be in the museum for people to look at.”
He commented the Beatles Story had done a “fantastic job” of making people aware that it is in Britain now and doesn’t have to leave the country. And he added that while FleetwoodOwen would try and get the best price for their client, and were unable to stop it being sold to a Japanese or American collector, “it won?t be for lack of us wanting and trying to keep it in Britain“.
Curator of The Beatles Story, Shelagh Johnston previously told nme.com: “If someone bought it for their own investment or their own love, we would be very happy to give it a home here, insured for whatever value was deemed necessary. It’s not sad if it’s going to be sold if it goes to a good owner. But if it goes outside the UK, we at The Beatles Story will feel sad in the sense that it should really stay in Liverpool. We feel it belongs here.”