Sir Paul McCartney has spoken of his delight after the British government declared the Beatles' famous Abbey Road zebra-crossing a national heritage site on Wednesday (22Dec10).
The famous Abbey Road studios, where the band recorded its 1969 album of the same name, was given protected status back in February (10) and now officials have issued another order to include the crossing outside, which featured on the album's cover.
The iconic photograph shows MCCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr walking across the street in north-west London close to the recording studio, and tourists have long flocked to the area to recreate the shot.
Britain's Minister for Tourism and Heritage John Penrose has now given the site Grade II listed status to protect it for future generations, saying, "This London zebra crossing is no castle or cathedral but, thanks to the Beatles and a 10-minute photoshoot one August morning in 1969, it has just as strong a claim as any to be seen as part of our heritage."
And MCCartney is ecstatic about the news, adding, "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."