Beatles 'Abbey Road' crossing given heritage status
A legendary London zebra crossing featured on the cover of The Beatles' album "Abbey Road" has been designated a heritage site, the British government said Wednesday.
Heritage minister John Penrose said the decision to list the black-and-white crossing in north London was a "fantastic testimony to the international fame of the Beatles".
Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are seen walking across the road in the picture on the sleeve of their 1969 album. The crossing is outside the Abbey Road studios where it was recorded.
McCartney welcomed the news, which comes in a big year for the band after their songs went on sale on Apple's iTunes for the first time.
"It's been a great year for me and a great year for the Beatles and hearing that the Abbey Road crossing is to be preserved is the icing on the cake," McCartney said.
It is the first time that Britain has given so-called Grade II status to a site that is not a building.
"It is a fantastic testimony to the international fame of the Beatles that, more than 40 years on, this crossing continues to attract thousands of visitors each year, trying to mimic their iconic Abbey Road album cover," Penrose said.
"Abbey Road" was the best-selling Beatles album on iTunes in the United States since the band's debut on the site in November.
This month marks 30 years since Lennon was gunned down in Manhattan in December 1980.
© 2010 AFP