Entertainment & Arts

Abba museum to open doors in Stockholm

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Media captionThe BBC's Russell Trott takes a look inside the museum

The first permanent museum dedicated to Swedish pop group Abba is to open its doors in Stockholm later.

Backed by former member Bjorn Ulvaeus, the museum features some of the band's glitzy stage costumes, instruments and other mementos.

Visitors will also be able to sing Abba songs alongside life-size holograms of the group.

However Ulvaeus scotched rumours the group might stage a reunion for the occasion.

"In the museum you can see us together again. That I think is the closest you could ever get," he told reporters on Monday.

A lot of the exhibits were previously on display as part of the Abbaworld exhibition that toured Europe and Australia between 2009 and 2011, including a stint at London's Earl's Court.

However, there will also be some new items which the former members have donated from their personal collections.

Ulvaeus had previously been sceptical about the idea of becoming a museum piece while still alive, and a previous plan to open a permanent exhibition failed in 2008.

Image caption Former band member Bjorn Ulvaeus has been heavily involved in preparations for the new museum

However, the new museum has the band's full support. Ulvaeus has offered daily direction to some of the 50 staff involved with the final preparations.

"We were all won over by the idea," he said.

The Stockholm museum also features a 1970s disco dance floor for visitors to practise their moves, a space where they can audition to be the "fifth" member of the band and offers the opportunity to sit inside the helicopter that featured on the Arrival album cover.

Among the other exhibits are a room documenting how the band met in the 1960s and a recreation of a cottage on the island of Viggso that they used for writing songs.

The museum will also house a Swedish Music Hall of Fame and an exhibition chronicling the history of Swedish popular music.

Abba have sold almost 400 million albums around the world and a film featuring their hits, Mamma Mia!, is the most successful musical movie of all time. Almost 50 million people have seen the stage version of the production.

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