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Disco date: Sweden's ABBA museum to open in 2009

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Disco date: Sweden's ABBA museum to open in 2009
14:17 CET+01:00
Fans of legendary Swedish disco group ABBA can dance down memory lane when "ABBA the Museum" opens in Stockholm in 2009, featuring the quartet's costumes, instruments and rare memorabilia.

"We're going to open the ABBA museum from June 3rd to 7th (2009), it will be an inaugural week," said Ulf Westman, who mastermind the world's first ABBA museum along with his wife, Ewa Wigenheim-Westman.

"It will be an international museum with a lot of technological and multimedia aspects," he said, with visitors invited to take part in various activities related to the group's heyday in the 1970s.

ABBA stars Bjoern Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad became international sensations with hits such as "Money, Money, Money", "Waterloo", "Fernando" and "Dancing Queen".

All four members have given their backing to the project and will provide clothes, instruments and music, though they are not formally involved in the creation of the museum.

Visitors will be able to take the microphone and record their own version of "Take A Chance on Me" or "Voulez Vous" in a model of the Polar Studio in Stockholm where the quartet recorded their hits.

They will also be able to show off their moves in a disco room, while in the giant wardrobe room the bodyhugging pantsuits, sequined bellbottoms and platform boots that defined ABBA's image will be displayed in all their glory.

The years 1976 to 1978 will "naturally be given a large space since it's during this period they took the world by storm," Wigenheim-Westman said.

Plans to build "ABBA the Museum" were announced a year ago but Wednesday saw the release of detailed plans for the layout of the inter-active exhibition in waterfront property on the island of Södermalm.

It will fill three floors and more than 6,500 square metres (70,000 square feet) with ABBA stuff, as well as a cafe and a shop.

Construction, which is underway, is expected to cost up to 200 million kronor ($31.2 million) and is being funded by the city of Stockholm, port official Christel Wiman said.

The museum will then rent the space from the city.

The old customs building -- Tullhuset -- is a protected heritage site on the banks of the Baltic Sea, not far from another popular tourist attraction, the Old Town.

Organizers said they hoped for half a million visitors a year, at 245 kronor ($38) per head in peak season.

Despite having broken up a quarter of a century ago, ABBA still sells between two and three million albums a year. To date they have sold 360 million records, with only Elvis and the Beatles selling more.

The Mamma Mia! musical, featuring many of their hits, has been seen by 27 million people around the world since its premiere in London in 1999.

AFP's Sophie Mongalvy

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