Yoko Ono unveils tower of light in Lennon's memory

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) - Yoko Ono called on the world to imagine living life in peace as she unveiled a tower of light on Tuesday dedicated to the memory of her husband John Lennon on what would have been his 67th birthday.

Yoko Ono flashes a victory sign during an opening of her new exhibition 'Odyssey Of A Cockroach' in Moscow, May 29, 2007. REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov

Ono and Beatles drummer Ringo Starr lit up the chill night with the broad shaft of blue light as about 200 people sang along with Lennon’s song “Imagine”, playing in the background.

The “Imagine Peace Tower”, a light sculpture created by Ono, will illuminate the sky of the Icelandic capital each year from Lennon’s birthday until December 8, the anniversary of his murder in New York in 1980.

“I hope that when the light from the tower will shine, the world will pause for a time and imagine peace,” Ono told Reuters in an interview before the unveiling.

Ono spent the day with family, friends and peace supporters before taking a boat across to the small island in Reykjavik harbour to where the tower is located. She was accompanied by Starr and her son with Lennon, Sean.

Ono, who told the crowd the light sculpture was a 40-year-old dream come true, chose Iceland for the memorial because of its beauty and its reliance on natural power.

The tower will be powered entirely by geothermal energy, which is plentiful on the volcanic island.

“There are many beautiful countries in the world but what makes Iceland unique is the fact that 80 percent of the energy use of Iceland is provided by sustainable energy sources like geothermal energy,” Ono told Reuters.

“Because of these clean natural energy sources, the water and the air in Iceland are clean, so clean that you can actually feel it,” she said.

Ono hopes the sculpture will help preserve the memory of her husband and deliver a message of peace to all people.

“I cannot promise that I will be here every year for the lighting of the tower but I feel like I am part of Iceland now and I will try to come as often as I can,” Ono said.