April 24, 2019 / 6:55 PM

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John Lennon Honored With 'Yellow Submarine' Tapestry Unveiled at Ellis Island



Artist, activist and musician, Yoko Ono, joined forces with U2's Bono and various guests to unveil a tapestry at Ellis Island to honor her late husband, John Lennon, on Wednesday. The artwork showcases Manhattan as a yellow submarine, an ode to the Beatles, and depicts Lennon as the pilot presenting a peace sign.

Ono spoke about the tapestry at Ellis Island's National Museum of Immigration, labeling it "so special" and saying that he would've loved it. On behalf of human rights group, Amnesty International, commissioned artwork by Art for Amnesty founder Bill Shipsey also features Lennon in order to recognize Ono and her devotion. The organization has gotten over $5 million in royalties from covers of Lennon's solo music since 2004.

U2 members Bono and the Edge, as well as music executive Jimmy Lovine, paid for the commemorative piece to be created by Czech artist, Peter Sis. "This is a very happy moment for the family," Ono said, notes Billboard.

During the event, July 29 was declared John Lennon day by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for the mayor's office, reports Reuters. Bono, who recently executed an eight-night residency at Madison Square Garden, also offered comments about the tapestry and even claimed Lennon to be Irish. "Let's claim him. In fact, let's claim all the Beatles not as immigrants but as Irish," Bono said.

The tapestry unveiling ceremony marked the 40th anniversary of Lennon receiving his green card. "John had to fight to get here," Ono said. "John had to fight to actually be accepted here." Hailing from Liverpool, the Beatle was initially denied U.S. residency but that denial was later overturned in 1975. His drive to stay in the United States stemmed from his belief that change could happen.

"He was really, really concerned about what's happening in the world, and he knew that what we do in America is really going to affect the whole world," Ono said.

Ono's own art exhibit, Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960 -1971, can be viewed at the New York Museum of Modern Art until September. Following up her 2007 remix and cover LP, the avant-garde singer will release sequel album Yes, I'm a Witch Too, in 2016 with the help of her son Sean Lennon, Death Cab for Cutie, Cibo Matto, Tune-Yards and more.

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