Lennon's sister unveils Beatles statue in Liverpool

Liverpool (AFP) - John Lennon's sister unveiled a new statue of The Beatles on Liverpool's waterfront on Friday that the sculptor said he hoped would become a landmark where people could "think, meditate and play."

The bronze sculpture was donated by the Cavern Club, where the Beatles were discovered, and marks 50 years since their last public performance in their home city on December 5, 1965.

"I was present at that event and am proud to be at the unveiling," said Julia Baird, the late Beatle's sister.

The statue was based on photographs of the "Fab Four" -- Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon -- taken in 1963 in a nearby spot.

The idea for the statue, which was created by sculptor Andy Edwards and weighs 1.2 tonnes, came from Chris Butler, managing director of Castle Fine Art Foundry.

"This is a statue that needs no title, no explanation, no instruments, no gimmicks," Butler said.

"It's a monument to a moment and the moment started in Liverpool."

Edwards said that while he was working on the statue on the waterfront "everybody wanted to talk to us -- everybody has a Beatles story".

"I think the statue will quickly become a place of ritual. It will be a place to come together, have a think, meditate and play."