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Yoko Ono and the Prime Minister’s wife, Cherie Booth QC, visited Liverpool John Lennon Airport today (15th March 2002) to unveil a 7ft bronze statue of John Lennon by local sculptor, Tom Murphy.
The imposing statue weighing a staggering one tonne is sited on the main passenger walkway overlooking the check-in hall and is clearly visible to all Airport users.
The unveiling completes the re-naming and re-branding to Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which was given the seal of approval by Yoko Ono on her visit in July last year. It was on this occasion that Ms Ono expressed her wish to return to the new £32.5 million Airport terminal building to unveil the statue of her late husband, once much of the construction work had been completed.
Following notification to the Prime Minister’s Office of the exciting developments at the Airport, Cherie Booth QC has taken a personal interest in this event and was delighted to unveil the statue jointly with Yoko Ono.
Liverpool John Lennon continues to be one of Europe’s fastest growing airports and the unveiling of the statue marks the recent completion of the check-in hall and second floor food and retail area within the new terminal development.
Continuing work on the new departure lounges is due to be completed by the early Summer.
Immediately after the unveiling, Yoko Ono officially opened a display of drawings by John Lennon, which is being exhibited in the Airport’s new check-in hall for three days. Throughout the ceremony, a brass quintet from the Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed a selection of songs written by the legendary artist.
This unique collection of lithographs and drawings created by John Lennon throughout the 1960s and 1970s is appearing in its entirety for the first time in Liverpool and the last time in the UK before the collection returns to New York. The hosting of the exhibition was planned to coincide with Yoko Ono’s visit to officially re-name the Airport after the former Beatle.
Robert Hough, Chairman of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, said “In so many ways, John Lennon shaped the musical and social agenda of the 1960s and 1970s and it was the obvious choice to name the Airport after John, as he is one of Liverpool’s most famous sons. Yoko Ono’s approval last July of our intention to do this was exceptionally good news for the Airport and today it has become a reality”.
Robert Hough added “To mark the completion of a key development phase of the terminal and the achievements of John Lennon and his association with Liverpool, we are delighted that Yoko Ono has returned to unveil John’s statue along with Cherie Booth QC.
“The renaming of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, coupled with the near completion of its world-class terminal, has catapulted it up the international aviation league. Already Liverpool John Lennon is one of the fastest growing Airports in Europe and we are very excited by what the future holds”.
Yoko Ono said: “John would have loved the fact that he is back home in Liverpool.”
Cherie Booth said “I am always happy to be asked to come back to Liverpool. This has always been a great, vibrant city and I am especially delighted to be here to complete the final stage in the re-naming of Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
“This airport is, and will continue to be, a huge success story for the city, as well as a reminder of our great cultural heritage now that it bears John Lennon’s name.”
“After studying many images of John I chose this pose as felt it was a typical stance of his. I feel the overall effect exudes his incredible charisma and defiant attitude. I am absolutely delighted with it and very proud it is in such an apt location,” said sculptor Tom Murphy.
Loganair, Scotland’s Airline, has announced plans to take up the Liverpool to Isle of Man route formerly flown by Flybe. The service will operate between Liverpool and the Isle of Man up to 19 times per week initially, with plans to increase this to three times daily from the end of March.
Explosives detection dogs from police forces across the country have been taking part in a major training exercise at Liverpool John Lennon Airport this week.