Called "Imagine," after the famous Lennon song, the sculpture by Lawrence Holofcener became part of the landscape in Mount Dora. But in January, Holofcener removed the statue, just as he and his wife, Julia, were preparing to relocate to the U.K. — on the Isle of Wight, an island in the English Channel.
He had loaned it to Mount Dora for two years. Holofcener, who had a sculpture gallery in the arts-friendly town, installed it in October 2010 to commemorate what would have been Lennon's 70th birthday.
The life-sized statue portrayed the former Beatle sitting on a park bench with his arms outstretched and his head leaning back to face the sky.
"You always saw people posing with it, cuddling up to John Lennon," joked Beth Miller, executive co-chairwoman of the Mount Dora Center for the Arts.
Fred Frascona of Summerfield sat next to Lennon when he took a break from visiting the city's popular annual arts festival in 2011.
"No, I'm not a fan," Frascona said. "I guess I just needed to sit."
Before the Holofceners moved back to the U.K., they offered to sell it for $20,000.
City Manager Mike Quinn wasn't buying.
"I just didn't have that budgeted and I didn't have that available," Quinn said.
Julia Holofcener said in an email that price was a little more than it cost to create the artwork at a foundry.
"Many people have said how sorry they were to see it go," she wrote. "The people loved it."
Fans can see the work in April at its new home, the Kendall's Fine Arts Gallery in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
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