A new blog post by Arnoldo Rivera of La Nacion calls attention to something that tourists and Ticos alike often ask about John Lennon’s sculpture in Costa Rica: What happened to his glasses?
Mr. Rivera, who is a Beatles scholar, recalls the day when Lennon’s effigy was seated at that park bench along the old Paseo de los Estudiantes (Students’ Boulevard). That was on November 25th, 2011, and the statue received at lot of attention from the press. This was one of Johnny Araya’s pet projects; the former long-time Mayor of San Jose and current candidate to the Presidency of Costa Rica is reportedly a big Beatles fan, plus he mentioned that the statue celebrated the affinity of Lennon’s and our country’s mutual love of peace.
The unveiling of John Lennon’s sculpture, sitting across from the church of La Soledad and near the sculpture of Carlos Gardel, the Argentinian master of tango, was underscored by an event that featured a Tico Beatles cover band and even brass players from the San Jose Symphonic Orchestra. Since then, hundreds -perhaps thousands- of people have had their picture taken next to the iconic rock musician, who was gunned down in New York by a deranged man on December 8th, 1980 -just two months after he turned 40 years old.
Almost two years after the unveiling of Lennon’s statue, Johnny Araya is a shoo-in to succeed President Laura Chinchilla and the old Student’s Boulevard is now San Jose’s new Chinatown. And still John Lennon has no eyeglasses.
Things in Costa Rica either happen too fast or take forever to occur. In the case of Lennon’s missing eyeglasses, it’s a bit of both. If you think that Lennon’s glasses were stolen, congratulations at being an expert player of the “Jumping to Conclusions” game! The Municipality of San Jose has custody of the eyeglasses, which were removed on December 6th, 2011. The problem, as Mr. Rivera explains on his blog in La Nacion, is that the Municipality realized that the eyeglasses were too fragile to withstand the constant pulling and tugging that a sitting statue invites.
Mr. Rivera also points out that daily tabloid newspaper La Teja, owned by Grupo Nacion, printed the jovial headline “John Lennon was left blind!” almost two years ago, and still Lennon has no eyeglasses. Mr. Rivera compares the affair with just how long it took to fix the roadway surface of the bridge over the Virilla River (also known as La Platina). Perhaps when Johnny Araya takes the Presidential Office in Zapote, John Lennon may finally get his long-lost eyeglasses. Until then, we’ll just have to Imagine them.