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Friday, 7 September, 2001, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
Lennon Street planned for Serbian city
John Lennon
Lennon: Seen as symbol of peace and freedom
John Lennon is to have a street in Yugoslavia's second city, Novi Sad, named after him as part of a new trend of honouring worldwide cultural icons in the country.

The former Beatle's name will replace that of a Serb who took part in the Spanish civil war in the 1930s.

There is a growing fashion in Yugoslavia for naming roads after artists and sportsmen, rather than following the tradition of honouring prominent politicians.

"We decided to name this street after a man who left an important mark in the world's cultural heritage," said Vladimir Vrgovic, the president of the commission that made the decision.

Spirit

"We have printed out the board with John Lennon's name and we have decided to invite his widow Yoko Ono and son Julian to attend the opening ceremony."

Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono recently opened the renamed John Lennon Airport
The idea to name the road after the musician, who was murdered in 1980, came from Vrgovic's daughter.

She first came up with the idea in 1998, he said.

"I raised my daughter Milena in the spirit of rock and roll, to give her a wider perception of the world, unlike many of her peers who only know about Novi Sad, well, Belgrade at the most."

Peace

The star has already had a street named after him in Russian town of Chelyabinsk, and Liverpool's airport was recently renamed John Lennon Airport.

The star's image is also a symbol for peace and freedom at Prague's Lennon Wall, which was originally a makeshift billboard for dissidents during the communist era.

Meanwhile, in London, fans have been given the opportunity to see 150 of Lennon's paintings and sketches, including 13 which have not been seen in public before.

The art, which depicts Lennon's relationship with Ono and their son Sean their lives, is on display in west London's Harbour Yard gallery until Sunday, 9 September.

See also:

11 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Lennon back in the USSR
02 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Ono unveils 'Lennon airport'
07 Sep 01 | Arts
Unseen Lennon art on display
31 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Beatles put on the map
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