Imagine: some peace in Piccadilly Circus

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The Independent Online

According to the song there is "above us only sky". But for the next three months, words from John Lennon's "Imagine" will look down on millions of people and bring a little peace to Piccadilly Circus.

Yoko Ono has paid an estimated £150,000 to hire a billboard among the neon signs above the bustling confines of one of London's biggest tourist traps to display a line from what is regarded by many as the greatest song lyric written.

Without lights, fanfare or explanation, the board will carry the line: "Imagine all the people living life in peace".

After the demonstrations and the love-ins of former times, the words among the neon of multinational mass marketing is Yoko Ono's latest contribution to peace after the terrorist attacks in the US. She has similarly placed messages in Times Square, New York, and in Tokyo in her native Japan. She has maintained rigorous control over the use of her husband's music since he was shot dead outside his apartment in Manhattan in 1980.

She said: "After the horrible events of September 11, I thought it was a very important time to remind people of this message, because the world needs peace.

"I first put the billboard in Times Square – it's still up there – and then in Tokyo, with the same message in Japanese and English. I wanted it in London because it's a city that I have a special love for, and have fond memories of."

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