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Piccadilly Circus signboard goes dark for digital overhaul

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By Associated Press

The lights have gone out at Piccadilly Circus.

FILE - This is a March 31, 1949, file photo of Piccadilly Circus in central London. The iconic lights were turned pf Monday Jan, 16, 2017 out on the advertising hoardings at the site, which are set to be replaced with a state-of-the-art screen measuring 790 square metres which is expected to be unveiled in the autumn (PA/File via AP) Manila Bulletin

FILE – This is a March 31, 1949, file photo of Piccadilly Circus in central London. (PA/File via AP) Manila Bulletin

The famous electronic advertising signboard in central London went dark Monday for several months of renovation.

It’s the longest period of darkness since World War II, when the city’s lights were turned off to confuse German bombers.

The Piccadilly Circus signs were switched back on in 1949, and — power cuts aside — have only been dimmed to mark the funerals of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana.

When the lights go back on in the autumn, six separate screens will be replaced with one giant digital screen, which can be used by a single advertiser or divided into sections.

Property company Land Securities, which owns the site, says Coca-Cola and Samsung will be among brands advertising on the signboard when it reopens.

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