IMAGINE PEACE TOWER
On what would have been John Lennon's 67th birthday, October 9 2007, the ex-Beatle's widow, Yoko Ono fulfilled a 40-year ambition by opening the Imagine Peace Tower on Videy Island, near Reykjavik.
This tower is formed from a powerful white light beam produced by 15 custom designed Space Cannon Leukos. Fitted with Xenon lamps, nine of the units are 7000W and six are 2000W, and are the same types used for New York City’s ‘Tribute In Light’ to mark the 9/11 tragedy.
It was in 1967 that the story behind the Imagine Peace Tower began, when Lennon read about ‘Light House’ — one of Ono’s typically enigmatic conceptual art pieces — and asked her to build something similar in his garden in Weybridge, Surrey. At the time, Ono was unsure how to make this happen with the resources at hand. However, 40 years later, the technology of Space Cannon’s units have made Ono’s dream possible — spreading light from the earth towards the sky as a symbol of universal peace.
The phrase ‘Imagine Peace’ is represented in 24 different languages around the 17m diameter base of the tower to remind people of the importance of peace. The tower will be lit every year from October 9 until December 8 (marking Lennon’s death) to represent the cycle of the rock legend’s life. The powerful beam of light will also shine every New Year’s Eve and welcome spring around Easter time.
Broadcast worldwide, the ceremony included a performance of the song ‘Imagine’ by the Reykjavik Children’s Choir, and a welcome from the Mayor of Reykjavik, Vilhjalmur Vilhjalmusson who said: “Let us hope that this symbol generates a global feeling of brotherhood.”
The unveiling of the tower was attended by Lennon and Ono’s son Sean (who turned 27 that day), Ringo Starr and George Harrison’s widow, Olivia.
In her address to the crowds gathered on Videy Island, Yoko Ono said: “I hope the Imagine Peace Tower will give light to the strong wishes of world peace from all corners of the planet and give encouragement, inspiration and a sense of solidarity in a world now filled with fear and confusion.”
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