Yoko Ono made honorary citizen of Reykjavk

Posted on 10 October 2013
By Michelle Gondry
  • Share:

Jón Gnarr, mayor of Reykjavík, nominated Yoko Ono as Honorary Citizen of Reykjavík at a special ceremony at Höfdi House this week.

The City Council Executive Committee of Reykjavík agreed unanimously last week to make Yoko an honorary citizen of the capital of Iceland.

The honorary title is to thank Yoko for her extremely valuable contribution to Reykjavík, her lifelong work as an advocate for world peace and human rights and for choosing Reykjavík as a platform from which to spread her message.

To this day, four people have been made honorary citizens of Reykjavík: the reverend Mr. Bjarni Jónsson in 1961, the ophthalmologist Mr. Kristján Sveinsson in 1975, former President of Iceland Mrs. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir in 2010 and the Icelandic artist Erró in 2012.

Yoko Ono will now be added to this list of honorary citizens.

Mayor of Reykjavík City, Jón Gnarr said: “With her outstanding work, Yoko Ono has pointed the light of peace to Reykjavík. It is therefore a great honour to award her with the title honorary citizen of Reykjavík.

“Yoko’s contribution to peace and human rights issues in the world is unique. The Imagine Peace Tower has been immensely valuable for Reykjavík.

“The LennonOno Grant for Peace ceremony also is now held biennially in Reykjavík. We have the wish that the city be permanently lit as a city of peace and human rights.”

Yoko has strong ties to Reykjavík through her work of art Imagine Peace Tower. The basic idea of the project is drawn from the common and intertwined careers of John Lennon and Yoko Ono and is about the international message of peace delivered through arts. Imagine Peace Tower also serves as a memorial to John Lennon.

Imagine Peace Tower was set up on Videy island in Reykjavík with the support of Reykjavík City, with the light first being lit on October 9th in 2007. It now shines every year from John Lennon’s birthday until December 8th, the day of his passing.

It has drawn international attention and recognition to Reykjavík and events connected to it enliven Reykjavík annually and attract foreign visitors and world attention to the cause of peace.

In her annual visits to Reykjavík to attend the lighting of Imagine Peace Tower, Yoko has inspired the city authorities and the Icelandic public to campaign more for peace and human rights in the world.

The LennonOno Grant for Peace is awarded biennially to those who have worked for peace and human rights issues in the world and, from 2006, Ono has made Reykjavík the home of the Peace Awards.

Last year Lady Gaga was awarded the prize for her campaign for increased human rights along with Rachel Corrie, Christopher Hitchens, John Perkins and Pussy Riot.

At the presentation Yoko said: “Thank you for making me an honorary citizen of Reykjavik. It is indeed a great honour. It gives me an immense encouragement to continue doing good work.

“John and I believed in Nutopia, which would make all of us citizens of the world. But inside the world, there is a land of our hearts that is shining with warmth, truth and beauty called Iceland. Each time I visit the land, I am reminded of what is essential and therefore most important in life. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being you.”