ABBA museum opens in Stockholm

Copenhagen, May 7 (EFE).- A museum dedicated to ABBA, the most popular Swedish group of all time, opened on Tuesday in Stockholm, giving fans of the iconic band an opportunity to enjoy interactive displays.

"ABBA The Museum" is a trip into the world of Benny Andersson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog, who cranked out hit after hit during their 1972-1982 run, selling more than 380 million records, and staying current with a hit musical and 2008 film.

The first thing visitors to the museum see is a documentary about the band by Swedish director Jonas Akerlund playing on a 360-degree screen.

Visitors then travel through the decades, encountering Benny and Bjorn in the mid-1960s, when they met and started their long musical collaboration.

Other areas of the museum allow visitors to try on virtual versions of the band's wild outfits or to sing along with holograms of the ABBA members on "Fernando," "Mamma Mia," "Dancing Queen" and "Waterloo."

The band won the 1974 Eurovision Festival with "Waterloo" and then produced one simple, catchy song after another, with Frida and Agnetha, who were married to Benny and Bjorn, respectively, harmonizing perfectly.

The museum also has personal items belonging to the band's members.

The idea for the museum, a project developed by the Swedish Music Hall of Fame, first came up nine years ago, but it took a while to get off the ground because the band's members were initially not excited about the concept of an ABBA museum, but they eventually came around.

Bjorn Ulvaeus is the principal investor and runs the company that controls the museum, which charges an admission fee of 195 Swedish kronor (about $30) and expects more than 200,000 visitors annually.

Three of the band's four members turned up Monday night for the inauguration of the museum on Djurgarden, one of the 14 islands that make up Stockholm.

"This is a house that is dedicated completely to music. And I think that is very good," Ulvaeus said as "Thank You For The Music," one of the band's best known songs, played.

Benny and Anni-Frid also attended the grand opening, but Agnetha was unable to take part because she was in London promoting her new solo album.

Contrary to recent rumors, Ulvaeus told the "Svenska Dagbladet" newspaper in an interview a few days ago that the band had no plans to get back together.

ABBA fans will have to be satisfied with the music, the new museum and the musical "Mamma Mia!" based on the group's songs and seen by more than 50 million people around the world.

The musical inspired the film of the same name starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan in an all-star cast.