Prague's landmark Lennon Wall painted over by anonymous culprits

PRAGUE (REUTERS) - Prague's graffiti-covered John Lennon Wall, a favourite photo spot for tourists and a symbol of Western culture under the former Communist regime, was painted completely white on Tuesday.

The wall had been a forum for anti-communist calls, love messages and hippie-style paintings even before Lennon's death in 1980 when Prague was still the capital of communist Czechoslovakia.

A group of anonymous students claiming to be from Prague art schools and calling themselves "Prague Services" claimed responsibility for painting over the wall on the 25th anniversary of the country's "Velvet Revolution" that shook off Communist rule. "Twenty-five years ago, one big totalitarian wall fell... Students of art schools are expressing their commemoration of (1989) and opening room for new messages of the current generation," they said in a statement.

Before 1989, protest notes and the Western pop culture symbolism of the wall were a thorn in the side for Communist authorities who often covered it in military-style green or grey paint.

Following the revolution, the spot became a gathering spot for tourists who often added their own messages and took pictures at the wall.

Passers-by had already started covering it in new graffiti by Tuesday morning.

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