The Lennon Wall, Prague – A memorial and a landmark

It’s amazing how a bit of spraying and colour can change a once non-descript wall into a local landmark: the Lennon Wall in Prague has been scribbled on since the singer’s death in December 1980 and has, over the years, turned into a landmarks of its own.

It began as a memorial for the musical legend following his assassination. Lennon fans sprayed on portraits, messages and Beatles lyrics on the wall, in his memory. But the wall grew to be more than just a memorial; it was soon incorporated in the political struggle against the communist regime. Czech youth used the wall as a medium to vent against the establishment, scribbled in messages of peace and calls for greater freedoms. The wall now served as a medium of strong social and political commentary.

Wall

There have been many attempts at whitewashing the wall by local authorities. Time and again, the graffiti has sprung up with days of the cleaning. And while the initial portrait of Lennon is covered by layers and layers of graffiti, the giant peace sign and Beatles lyrics are still visible despite the fluffy ‘I was here’s’ painted on the wall today.

The Lennon Wall stands on Mala Strana, close to the Charles Bridge. Once a symbol of rebellion, it has ingrained itself in the cultural and social fabric of the city.

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