Arts, Culture & Media

You can take your picture with John Lennon in Havana, but don't mess with his glasses

Lennon-Havana-pedler.jpg

Credit:

David Pedler/Flickr

The statue of the late Beatle was inaugurated in a leafy Havana park 13 years ago.

John Lennon was killed over 33 years ago. But, in Havana, Cuba, you can sit on a park bench next to the late Beatle.

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It's a bronze statue, but Lennon's trademark National Health granny glasses are real.

Or rather, they were real — they kept getting stolen by visitors who wanted a souvenir — until 13 years ago.

That's when a retired man across the street from the park took on a new volunteer job. He's done it four days a week, every week since then.

Juan Gonzalez sits next to John Lennon's statue with the circular, wire rimmed glasses. When tourists come by to take pictures, Gonzalez places the glasses on John Lennon. And when the snapshots are done, he puts the glasses back in his pocket next to his cigars and sits back down.

Gonzalez is now 95. Apparently, he didn't really know John Lennon's music. But ever since he moved to Havana from the Cuban countryside 20 years ago to be with his daughter, he's become a Beatles fan.

As he told the Associated Press, "All the foreigners that come here sit with me and take pictures. I am in every country in the world!"

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