Monument moved after glasses ripped off and Spanish colours daubed on Beatle idol
A STATUE of John Lennon has had to be moved to protect it from vandals.
The bronze, life-size statue has become the target of a series of attacks during its two year stint on one of the busiest streets in Almeria.
Lennon had his glasses ripped off twice, his face spray-painted and a Spanish flag daubed on his chest. The statue’s guitar fared little better. The tuning pegs were smashed off with a hammer shortly after the statue was unveiled in February 2007.
The neck of the guitar was soon snapped in half.
During its last months on display the statue cut a forlorn figure: perched on a low wall without glasses, its face spray-painted chocolate brown, strumming a mutilated Spanish guitar which a local newspaper described as “looking more like a ukelele.”
But council officials have now decided enough is enough and ordered the mutilated statue to be removed. Councillor for Culture, Lola Haro, said: “We are currently looking for another location in the city centre where the statue can be protected by already existing surveillance cameras, such as close to a bank or building society.”
Chipo Martínez, president of the Almería John Lennon Forever association, who campaigned to have the statue created in the first place, welcomed the news.
He said: “At the moment the statue is at the mercy of whoever is doing this.”
But journalist Adolfo Iglesias, who is responsible for discovering much of the information known about Lennon’s stay in the city, thought moving the statue was a mistake. He said: “It’s like giving in to the vandals. The statue belongs where people can see it.”
The bronze, life-size statue of Lennon was commissioned by Almería city council in 2006 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the musician’s stay in the city.
The statue’s creator, artist Carmen Mudarra, said she thought the vandalism was perpetrated by groups targetting it.
“They couldn’t have done this damage with their bare hands. Whoever did it used a hammer or pliers to break the tuning pegs off and must have had a crowbar to snap the guitar’s neck in half.
“This wasn’t a casual act of vandalism; they went there with the express intention of damaging the statue.”
The statue is currently in storage while a new, safer location is found.