Saitama’s John Lennon Museum threatened with closure



Major construction firm Taisei Corp. is considering closing the John Lennon Museum in Saitama next October when its contract with his widow, Yoko Ono, on the exhibit expires, Saitama Prefectural Government sources said on Friday.

Fewer people are visiting the museum, the world’s first with Ono’s consent dedicated to the late Beatle, the sources said.

A Taisei spokesman declined to comment, citing the company’s confidentiality obligation under the contract. But it is believed thatthe company has informally told the prefectural government it is studying the museum’s closure.

Located in the Saitama Super Arena complex for music and sports events, the museum opened Oct. 9, 2000, the 60th anniversary of Lennon’s birth. Ono attended the opening ceremony.

The multipurpose facility is owned by the prefectural government, while the museum is run by Museum Taisei, a subsidiary of the construction firm.

The museum exhibits items such as Lennon’s guitars, costumes, his trademark round glasses, lyric notebooks and pictures of him with Ono and their son, Sean.

Lennon was gunned down Dec. 8, 1980, outside the Dakota apartment building in Manhattan where he lived with Ono.