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London’s iconic Abbey Road zebra crossing has been repainted while the U.K. is in so-called “lockdown.”

The crossing which famously appears on The BeatlesAbbey Road album cover is normally a bustling tourist hotspot. In 2010, English Heritage granted it Grade II listed status as a site of “cultural and historical importance,” which means it can’t be altered without expression permission from the local council.

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However, Westminster City Council has evidently decided to give it a refresh while social distancing measures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic vastly reduce footfall. Getty Images photographer Leon Neal said on Twitter that he only stumbled upon the repainting job by chance.

The zebra crossing opposite the famous Abbey Road recording studios has become a must-visit location for Beatles fans visiting London. The image of the four band members striding across it has been widely homaged and parodied over the years.

When it was granted Grade II listed status in 2010, English Heritage’s head of designation, Roger Bowdler, said: “This is obviously an unusual case and, although a modest structure, the crossing has international renown and continues to possess huge cultural pull – the temptation to recreate that iconic 1969 album cover remains as strong as ever. Together with the nearby Abbey Road studios, also listed at Grade II on our advice, they remain a Mecca for Beatles fans the world over.”

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Filed Under: The Beatles
By Nick Levine