Trib­ute to Swe­den’s fab­u­lous four­some

Townsville Bulletin - - Weekend Extra / Travel -

NEARLY 25 years af­ter their of­fi­cial re­tire­ment, mem­bers of leg­endary Swedish pop group ABBA have got to­gether to launch their own mu­seum.

‘ABBA the Mu­seum’, due to open in Stock­holm in 2008, will fea­ture the four­some’s mu­sic, his­tory, orig­i­nal clothes, images, in­stru­ments and other mem­o­ra­bilia from their hey­day in the 1970s and 1980s.

It will also be an interactive ex­pe­ri­ence ‘where vis­i­tors can par­tic­i­pate with all their senses’, the or­gan­is­ers say.

Stock­holm mayor Kristina Axen Olin said the mu­seum could at­tract 500,000 peo­ple a year.

‘‘We are con­vinced that this is im­por­tant both for Stock­holm cit­i­zens and for mar­ket­ing the city,’’ she said.

A site for the mu­seum, of up to 4000 square me­tres, is be­ing sought in cen­tral Stock­holm.

The idea came from Ulf West­man and his wife Ewa Wi­gen­heim-West­man when they vis­ited the Bea­tles Mu­seum in Liver­pool a few years ago. Ewa men­tioned it to ABBA’s Benny An­der­son, with whom she had worked with pre­vi­ously. But it took the or­gan­is­ers two years to con­vince the four, who con­tinue to sell nearly three mil­lion records each year, that the project was a good idea. They will do­nate ma­te­rial for the ex­hibits, but will not be in­volved in any other way with the run­ning of the mu­seum. ABBA has sold more than 370 mil­lion records, more than any­one apart from Elvis Pres­ley and the Bea­tles, with num­ber one hits in­clud­ing Mam­maMia,Fer­nando, Danc­ingQueen,Water­loo,SOS and Money­Money­Money.

The Mu­sic Mu­seum in Stock­holm has had an ‘ABBA Cor­ner’since 1996. It in­cludes Benny An­der­s­son’s Yamaha GS-1 syn­the­siser, one of Bjorn Ul­vaeus’s Wash­burn Ea­gle gui­tars and Frida’s trade­mark blue satin jacket. The Mu­sic Mu­seum (Musik­museet) is at Ny­bro­plan be­hind the Royal Dra­matic Theatre in Sibyl­le­gatan 2. It’s open daily ex­cept Mon­days from noon to 5pm, and ad­mis­sion is free.

As part of a Stock­holm ABBA ex­pe­ri­ence, Ben­tours rec­om­mends a stay at Benny An­der­s­son’s Ho­tel Ri­val, Scan­di­navia’s first bou­tique ho­tel which opened in Septem­ber 2003. All rooms have ABBA CDs and speak­ers in the bath­rooms where guests can sing along with ABBA while tak­ing a shower.

A two-night stay with a 24-hour Stock­holm City Card is priced from $295pp plus tax.

Stock­holm City Cards pro­vide free or dis­counted en­try to var­i­ous city at­trac­tions.

HON­OUR . . . a mu­seum is be­ing built to fea­ture Swe­den’s most fa­mous ex­port, ABBA — Benny

An­der­s­son, Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyn­gstad, Agnetha "Anna" Falt­skog and Bjorn Ul­vaeus

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