Thursday, 28th March 2013

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Words of wisdom as Lennon exhibition makes the Rock scene

by Alice Mascarenhas

“Imagine that we had a great new tourist attraction, imagine that it was down at Casemates, and imagine that it was all about John Lennon. What a pleasure to open this exhibition,” expressed a beaming Chief Minister Fabian Picardo as he cut the red ribbon officially opening the doors to the international Beatles Memorabilia and Julian Lennon Collection exhibition for the first time out of Liverpool and in its new home at the Gustavo Bacarisas Galleries in Casemates.

Mr Picardo borrowed the title of John Lennon’s most well-known song ‘Imagine’ giving emphasis to an idea which after much work had really come true and which no longer needed imagination.

The Chief Minister told the gathering of mainly tourist related businesses and Government departments which included the Minister for Culture Steven Linares and Minister for Tourism Neil Costa to “imagine that there were no obstacles to showing a part of the life of John Lennon here in Gibraltar… there is a relationship between Lennon and Gibraltar which we are all aware of and which has nothing to do with this early part of his life – I think it is fantastic for us to have the opportunity to see this part of his life in Gibraltar, so that all of us who are members of this community have the opportunity to understand that part of the life of the man who has become a modern icon and to see it from the point of view of his family and son.”

Jeremy Nicholls from Copywrite, responsible for bringing this exhibition to Gibraltar together with Awesome Premier Events, praised the support of the Gibraltar Government in this project. He confirmed the exhibition would be open until the 31st of December and if successful the plan is to keep it going after that.

This exhibition he said was as seen from Julian’s eyes and his mother Cynthia, a personal and intimate journey which portrays the emotional stories of one of the world’s most iconic figures John Lennon.

The Chief Minister, told the Chronicle, after the opening that the exhibition married the old and the new Gibraltar.

“John Lennon is a modern icon, he is not someone from our prehistoric or military history, and this exhibit brings into what is an old barracks something that is related to a modern icon who has a relationship with Gibraltar,” he said.

The exhibition, he added, would give local residents the chance to know the other John Lennon and at the same time give the opportunity to those who visit Gibraltar to see “what we are all about. Yes Gibraltar is about its military heritage but it is also about using it in a modern way to be able to exhibit our relationship with modern icons of the 20th Century.”

“This is the first time out of Liverpool for this exhibition, it is the first international step for this exhibition, to have had Gibraltar chosen for this very high profile exhibition demonstrates that she continues to be hugely important in geographical terms, because that is what promotes the numbers of tourists that actually come here and gives us the chance to say to other the similar ventures Gibraltar is a good place to show your wares,” continued the Chief Minister who assured his government would continue to promote such ventures – marrying culture and tourism to attract more projects of this nature to the Rock.

In Gibraltar for the occasion was John Cousins, Julian Lennon’s manager. Impressed by what he saw, he explained how Julian Lennon was very involved in the work through his White Feather Foundation.

This travelling exhibition, he said, had seen a lot of interest from various parts of the world including China, South America, Germany and Sweden.

“This is not something we want to tour around and we are quite happy to let it stay here for the rest of the year,” he confirmed.

“We are expecting that people will enjoy it, residents and visitors - people see it, enjoy it and the charity gains and for us that is a double win.”

The exhibition opened to the public directly after the opening. Opening hours are Mon - Sat 9am - 6pm, Sun 10am - 4pm. Recommend visiting time is at least 40 minutes. For the time being the exhibition will offer local residents a discount prize where local residents and members of the MOD will upon showing an ID card, will get in for half price.




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