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ABBA museum to open in Sweden

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(AP photo)
Former ABBA band member Bjoern Ulvaeus, centre, arrives for a news conference, at the ABBA museum construction site in Stockholm., Sweden, Wednesday Oct. 3, 2012. A traveling ABBA exhibit is to get a permanent home in a new museum dedicated mostly to the Swedish quartet that has sold nearly 400 million records since its heyday in the 1970s. Former band member Bjoern Ulvaeus said Wednesday that "ABBA The Museum" will be part of a Swedish music hall of fame to be inaugurated in Stockholm next spring.

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A traveling ABBA exhibit is to get a permanent home in a new museum dedicated mostly to the Swedish quartet that has sold nearly 400 million records since its heyday in the 1970s.

Former band member Bjoern Ulvaeus said Wednesday that "ABBA The Museum" will be part of a Swedish music hall of fame to be inaugurated in Stockholm next spring.

The museum will feature some of the band's glitzy stage costumes, instruments and other mementos that were displayed in the ABBAWORLD exhibition that toured Europe and Australia in 2009-2011.

Ulvaeus said he hoped all four former ABBA members would attend the opening, set for April or May, but ruled out any chance of a stage comeback.

"We are the only group of that status that has never been reunited. I think that is cool," Ulvaeus, 67, told The Associated Press after a news conference in Stockholm. "It is a strength for ABBA that you remember those young, ambitious, energetic people during the '70s rather than some feeble old folks who feel compelled to get up and play all the time."

The other band members were Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. They started the band as two married couples, consistently topping charts in the English-speaking world after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with "Waterloo." They continued performing after both couples divorced, but drifted apart in the early '80s.

"We quit at the absolute top," Ulvaeus said. "And when we stopped it was to take a break and do some other things and then get back together again. But it never turned out that way."

However, ABBA's music lives on, with millions of albums sold each year, and through the highly popular stage and film musical "Mamma Mia!"

The city of Stockholm has long considered building a museum for Sweden's most successful pop group but previous plans fell through. This time, the building is already under construction near a theme park on Djurgarden, one of the Swedish capital's many islands.

Ulvaeus told reporters he had been hesitant about becoming a "museum artifact before I'm dead," but liked the idea of including ABBA in a hall of fame that would also recognize other Swedish musicians.

To bolster the exhibit, Ulvaeus said ABBA members emptied their closets of long-forgotten stage clothes, including '70s-style plateau boots and shiny costumes — some of which he would rather forget.

"I had one costume that I particularly remember that was some kind of Superman leotard with a cape," Ulvaeus said. "It makes me sick when I see it."

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