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John Lens-gone; Opportunist thief takes the glasses from famous statue.

Byline: By BEN ROSSINGTON Crime Reporter

ONE of the most eye-conic accessories in music history has been pinched in Liverpool.

A souvenir-hunting thief stole John Lennon's famous round glasses right in front of his eyes.

The spectacles were swiped off a statue of the famous former Beatle at the Liverpool airport named in his honour.

And the artist that sculpted the 7ft bronze monument revealed the thief had damagedhiswork of art in the process.

The former Speke Airport was renamed Liverpool John Lennon Airport by bosses in 2001, with the new logo bearing a scribbled self-portrait of the musician and a the line "above us only sky" from his famous song Imagine.

Yoko Ono unveiled the statue of her husband when the airport was officially relaunched inMarch2002.

Since then the monument, which stands on a plinth overlooking the check-in desks on the level two walkway, has become a meeting place for holidaymakers.

And it is often decorated with scarves and hats when Liverpool or Everton play away in Europe.

Liverpool artist Tom Murphy said an original had stood in Clayton Square without being targeted.

But he revealed this was the second time his JLA model had been targeted - and this time it had been damaged by the thief.

He said: "Most people admire and respect one of Liverpool's greatest heroes, but there is always one who just has to go one bit further.

"It is not the first time it has happened to be honest, but it is a real shame.

"The glasses on the Clayton Square statue were just placed on it and no-one ever took those.

"But these were attached to the statue and they have damaged it when they were taken off.

"It was probably just someone who thought they would take a souvenir of their trip to Liverpool, but their actions have deprived others of seeing the statue in its full glory.

"But John lovers should fear not. We've put a temporary pair on for now and are getting a new pair recast soon."

A spokesman for John Lennon Airport said: "We were somewhat surprised and disappointed that passengers to or from our airport may have taken an extra special souvenir from the statue, but we will replace them as quickly as possible."

ben.rossington@liverpool.com

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TARGET: The John Lennon statue at Liverpool John Lennon Airport... his original glasses have been stolen Picture: COLIN LANE
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 12, 2007
Words:402
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