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World's first ABBA museum to open in Stockholm

Paul O'Mahony · 28 Nov 2006, 13:49

Published: 28 Nov 2006 13:49 GMT+01:00

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“It’s great that someone feels like taking on our musical history and making it accessible,” Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Reuss said in a joint statement.

The idea for an ABBA museum first took shape when the couple went on a weekend break to Liverpool two years ago. On a trip to the city’s Beatles museum it struck them as odd that Stockholm did not honour its most famous musical sons and daughters in a similar fashion.

“When we returned to Sweden I immediately approached Benny Andersson, who I had worked with at Rival Hotel,” Wigenheim-Westman told The Local.

“He said no.”

But the couple retained a strong belief in the idea and Ewa Wigenheim-Westman continued badgering the former band member for almost two years. In the spring husband and wife finally sat down and drew up a concrete plan.

Eventually Benny Andersson warmed to the idea and gave his consent. He also managed to convince the band’s other former members that the project warranted their support.

“I’m almost crying talking about it,” said Wigenheim-Westman.

Although no location has yet been found for a desired 3000-4000 square metre site, the City of Stockholm and the Stockholm Visitors Board have already pledged their support.

And the founders believe that many other sponsors will be more than happy to jump on board. ABBA is after all “one of the strongest brands in the world”.

“This will be quite a tourist attraction – a real international magnet. We’re counting on 500,000 visitors annually after opening in 2008,” said Westman in a press release.

ABBA achieved international fame after their Eurovision success with Waterloo in 1974. The mid to late 1970s saw the band at the peak of its powers, producing hit singles at an extraordinary rate.

Story continues below…

In 1982 the band members began to go their separate ways and decided to take a break. An intermission that fans hoped would lead to better things has so far lasted 24 years.

But the former members are at least united in their support for the new venture.

“We have a lot of confidence in Ewa and Ulf and we hope and believe that it will be a cool and groovy museum to visit,” said Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Anni-Frid.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.com)

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