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ABBA museum in Stockholm

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Fans of the legendary Swedish disco group ABBA can hardly wait: in just a few weeks, Stockholm will open the doors to the world's first museum dedicated to the iconic foursome. After ABBA The Movie in 1977, the Mamma Mia musical and movie, and a 2010 travelling museum exhibit, the world's first permanent ABBA museum will open in central Stockholm on May 7.

“We're going to offer visitors a unique experience,” said museum director Mattias Hansson, revealing that they may even get a chance to speak live with a band member. After months of construction, the modern, blonde wood building in the leafy Djurgarden neighbourhood is nearing completion.

Workers bustle to finish what will be a temple to the creators of some of the biggest hits of the 1970s, including ‘Voulez Vous’, ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Waterloo’.

Through the museum's big windows, passers-by can catch a glimpse of a large main room. Few people have been authorised to enter the premises, as organisers are intent on keeping things under wraps until the official opening. But some details have slipped out.

For example, fans will be able to appear on stage with the quartet and record a song with them thanks to a computer simulation.

And in another room dedicated to the song ‘Ring, Ring, a 1970s telephone will be on display. Only four people know the number: ABBA members Agnetha Faeltskog, Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad, Benny Andersson and Bjoern Ulvaeus, who may occasionally call to speak live with museum visitors.

ABBA last appeared on stage together in 1982, and split a year later. After the split, the band members each went their own way and they've rarely appeared in public together, so getting all four involved in the making of the museum is a coup. Halling, the band's stylist from 1976 to 1980, has been instrumental in collaborating with them.The museum's website says it expects to attract a quarter of a million visitors in 2013.

Tickets for the museum, which cost 23 euros, are almost sold out for the first few weeks, going primarily to tourists from abroad, the museum director said.

— AFP

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