The opening of Sotheby’s exhibition of Freddie Mercury’s art and objects drew long queues in London recently, as fans lined up to get a glimpse into the cultural life of the Queen frontman. Sky News reports that fans travelled from all over the world to attend the opening, with some in fancy dress and others succumbing to tears and fainting.
The huge collection of the star’s personal items was left to his close friend Mary Austin, who also inherited his Kensington home. Until now, the items have been left largely untouched since Freddie’s death in 1991. Among the contents are handwritten lyrics and photographs, plus artworks by Salvador Dali.
The star of the show is a baby grand piano, which played a key role in the band’s most famous hits, Bohemian Rhapsody and We Are The Champions. There are also Japanese works of art, vases, and clothing that reflects Freddie’s obsession with Japan, and dazzling stage costumes.
Oliver Barker, Sotheby’s European chairman, said: “I think that there is something a little bit different about this. I think that because Freddie is just so revered, and I think we’re showing the private side of his life, conversely with public life, which has never been explored before. So I genuinely think this is a piece of archaeological history-making, happening now.”
The exhibition runs until 6 September. Six dedicated auctions will then take place beginning on 6 September to sell 1,400 lots. The items are displayed across six galleries, including recreations of rooms in Freddie’s home.
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