ABBA museum to open in Sweden
A museum dedicated to former Swedish pop group ABBA is due to open next year, former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus said, as organisers unveiled more details of a larger planned repository for Swedish popular music.
"I have been a little doubtful about becoming a museum piece before I have passed away, but I love my city and am happy to be able to state that, at long last, there will be an ABBA museum," Ulvaeus told a news conference.
ABBA the Museum is to be a permanent section in the Swedish Music Hall of Fame, which will showcase Swedish popular music from the 1920s until today.
Former ABBA members Anni-Frid Reuss (formerly Lyngstad), Benny Andersson and Agnetha Faltskog also endorsed the museum, Ulvaeus said.
Charlotte Wiking, managing director of the Hall of Fame, said it would offer visitors a sample of 400 Swedish music acts and bands, as well as serving as a stage for contemporary Swedish music.
ABBA had their international breakthrough when they won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Waterloo.
They went on to sell an estimated 378 million albums, and still sell 2.3 million a year, even though it has been three decades since they released their last joint album.
The soundtrack from the movie Mamma Mia! featuring ABBA hits has also scored success in the charts.
The ABBA museum would feature items that have been part of a touring exhibition - one that has not been shown in Sweden - that features music, original costumes, instruments, photos and other memorabilia, managing director Mattias Hansson said.
Hansson said about half the items have not previously been on display, but declined to offer details. Some of the items are on loan from former ABBA members and people who cooperated with them, including musicians and technicians.
Museum visitors would also be treated to interactive events such as appearing as "a fifth ABBA member" in a hologram, Hansson said.
Ulvaeus said he and Andersson were happy to "be part of a greater scene" with the Swedish Music Hall of Fame. He noted that it was also worth reminding visitors of Sweden's success as a musical force that has exported "songwriters, producers, artists and now DJs."
Looking back at ABBA's success, Ulvaeus said "since it is such a long time ago, I can now take a step back and look at it kind of objectively, and see a pop phenomenon that I was fortunate to be part of."
"It is a Cinderella story that is well worth telling," he added.
The museum opening is due in April or May 2013. The venue is on the island of Djurgarden, near the Stockholm waterfront, and accessible by ferry. A hotel, restaurant and shop are also part of the plans.