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Ukraine Peace Monument comes to Strawberry Field for Eurovision

A new 22ft tall monument to hope and peace has been unveiled at Strawberry Field in Liverpool to coincide with the city hosting Eurovision.

The Ukraine Peace Monument sculpture, commissioned from 16-year-old Mexican artist Osbelit Garcia-Morales by the California-based Global Peace Initiative, will eventually make its way to the conflict-riven country as soon as it is safe.

Cast in aluminium, the monument features a book, dove and Ukrainian flag held in a man’s outstretched arm with messages in keeping with John Lennon's anti-war song Give Peace a Chance.

The anthem was sung by Jimmy Coburn and the Liverpool Signing Choir - joined by Lennon's sister Julia Baird - at a special unveiling ceremony at the Beaconsfield Road site.

The Global Peace Initiative previously commissioned the John Lennon peace monument which was unveiled in Liverpool in 2010.

The Salvation Army site in Woolton was made globally famous by the Beatles’ 1967 hit Strawberry Fields Forever.

Kathy Versfeld, mission director at the Beaconsfield Road visitor attraction, said: “We’re so honoured to be chosen as the temporary home for the Ukrainian Peace Monument and to fulfil the wishes of the Global Peace Initiative which aims to reduce violence and conflict around the world, and promote peace - sentiments that John embodied throughout his life.

“This sculpture is a wonderful new addition to our gardens, particularly for the local Ukrainian community, who we have been supporting. The monument will also sit alongside the new Strawberry Field bandstand.

“Indeed, Eurovision will remind us how music has the power to unite us in times of strife. Our message is clear - whoever you are, wherever you are, give peace a chance.”

Above: The new Strawberry Field Bandstand. Top: Liverpool Lord Mayor Roy Gladden unveils the new Ukraine Peace Monument.

Osbelit Garcia-Morales added: “I’ve been listening to the song Strawberry Fields Forever quite a bit. John Lennon sang: “Living is easy with eyes closed.” Coming from a small town in Mexico, it is easy to close one’s eyes to the suffering of people many thousands of miles away.

“But, to have peace anywhere is to have peace everywhere, and so each of us must raise our voice in any way we can to ask that we all live in peace. That is why I adorned my monument with the message Live Peace. I created this monument as a symbol of hope that the Ukrainian people can soon live in peace again.”

Eurovision runs from May 9-13, and during the fortnight-long cultural festival that precedes the Eurovision final on May 13, Strawberry Field has a varied programme of educational and community events in conjunction with partners across the Liverpool City Region, the local Ukrainian community and other faith groups.


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