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Lights Go Out Across Britain in World War I Tribute

A work of art entitled Spectra by Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda is pictured in London, on August 4, 2014, when it was lit up as part of the national commemorations marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP - Getty Images

Lights across Britain were switched off for an hour on Monday night in a tribute to the dead of World War One inspired by the prophetic observation of Britain's foreign minister on the eve of war 100 years ago.

"The lamps are going out all over Europe," Edward Grey told an acquaintance, shortly before Britain declared war on Germany on Aug. 4, 1914. "We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime."

A monumental pillar of light created by Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda was beamed into the clouds over London, acting as beacon for the capital. The installation will fade away as the sun rises over the city on Aug. 11.

Image: Lights Go Out To Mark World War One Centenary
A candle is placed on the doorstep of Number 10 Downing Street, the residence of Britain's Prime Minister, as the lights are turned off on iconic buildings in London to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, August 4, 2014. Rob Stothard / Getty Images

— Reuters