Postcard from... Prague


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The Independent Online

Prague’s colourful wall dedicated to the memory of John Lennon has been painted over, leaving just a single message: “Wall is over!”

The wall, in the heart of the Czech capital, began to be painted with images and related graffiti after the Beatle’s assassination in 1980. Under the communist regime, it became a symbol of freedom and opposition. After the 1989 anti-communist Velvet Revolution, it turned into a tourist attraction.

A group of art students claimed responsibility for painting the wall white on Monday and leaving the message, an apparent play on the words of the Lennon hit “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”. The group, called Prague Service, said in a statement that it was done to mark the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution which ended communist rule in Czechoslovakia, “to provide free space for new messages of the current generation”.

New messages, including “The wall is never over”, began to appear immediately.

It is not the first time the wall has been painted over. The communist authorities did it several times, trying to play down unwelcome adulation of a Western musician and to halt activities considered dangerous to the totalitarian regime. AP