Freddie Gorilla ga ga gone

August 2013



A gorilla sculpture, painted to resemble the Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, has been removed after a complaint Queen’s manager Jim Beach on behalf of the Freddie Mercury estate. The organisers of Go Go Gorillas, a public art trail in Norwich, were told that the painted suit “worn” by the gorilla breached copyright. It asked for the Freddie “Radio Go Go” Gorilla sculpture, which Norfolk artist Mik Richardson took three days to create, to be removed from public view. Mr Richardson said the decision to order its removal was “absolutely shocking”. Mr Richardson was paid £800 to design and paint the gorilla and he explained “I’m a mural artist and I have to be very careful about copyright” adding “I didn’t copy the suit exactly. I alter enough so that it’s fan art, rather than a copy of it. The “Radio Go Go” gorilla is one of 53 life-size gorillas decorated by Norfolk artists and displayed on the streets of Norwich over the summer. An additional 67 baby gorillas, painted at local schools, made up the 120-strong public art trail. The Freddie Mercury gorilla sculpture will be repainted with a “new and exciting design” and should be back in place within 10 days.

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