In celebration of what would have been John Lennon‘s 41st birthday, a seven foot bronze statue was unveiled outside City Hall in Los Angeles.
The statue was by 27-year-old American sculptor Brett Livingstone-Strong, and took three months to create. Begun in 1979, it was the only statue of Lennon created during his lifetime, although final work wasn’t completed until 1981.
It weighed three tons and cost $75,000. Shortly after its unveiling, Lennon fans began laying flowers at the foot of the statue’s plinth.
Livingstone-Strong intended for the statue to remain outside City Hall for one year, in the hope that someone would buy it and donate it to the city, so it could be put on permanent display. However, after 18 months there was no buyer. Livingstone-Strong sent it to a number of destinations around the world during the 1980s, including Japan and Australia, and in 1988 it was sold to Rock Legends Ltd of Australia for $1 million.
The Lennon statue was on show at the Grammy Awards Music Academy in Los Angeles for almost a decade. In 2010 it was once again put up for sale, with price tag of $2 million.
Also on 9 October 1981, Yoko Ono designated the day as International World Peace Day.