BERLIN – German police presented on Tuesday diaries, pairs of glasses and other items belonging to late Beatle John Lennon that were stolen from his widow, Yoko Ono, in 2006 and eventually ended up in Berlin.
Police arrested a man in Berlin on Monday suspected of receiving the 86 stolen items, which include Lennon’s last diary that ended on the day he was shot and killed in New York on Dec. 8, 1980.
“This day contains the entry that on that morning John Lennon and Yoko Ono had an appointment with Annie Leibovitz to take a photo which I think is world famous,” Berlin prosecutor Michael von Hagen told a news conference.
The Leibovitz portrait of a naked Lennon curled up around Ono on their bed ran on the January 1981 cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
Hagen rejected suggestions that Ono might have lent or given away the objects: “The diaries especially … were also treated by Yoko Ono as something sacred. And the idea that she would have given away three original diaries, especially the one that ends on the very day Lennon died, can be completely ruled out.”
Carsten Pfohl, head of property crime for Berlin police, said investigators had found one of the pairs of glasses and a receipt in Lennon’s name hidden in the trunk of the car of the accused on Monday.
Police suspect that the items were stolen by Ono’s former driver and then taken to Turkey and were only brought to Berlin in 2013 or 2014. Another suspect lives in Turkey, they said.
The Berlin police was alerted after they were found by the administrator for a bankrupt auction house, which had previously valued the objects at €3.1 million ($3.64 million).
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.