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Freddie Mercury Gorilla Statue Causes Controversy

Radio Go Go

Copyright concerns have prompted the removal of a gorilla statue painted to look like Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, much to the chagrin of many fans.

The statue, dubbed Radio Go Go, was part of a conservation art trail in Norwich, England, that has been put together by Go Go Gorillas, a charity organization focused on raising funds for Break and the Born Free Foundation. Although it’s hard to argue with the causes involved — Break provides aid for children and adults with learning disabilities, while Born Free is dedicated to protecting wildlife — Go Go Gorillas apparently violated the copyright held by another charity, the Mercury Phoenix Trust, which was established to raise money for AIDS research following Mercury’s death in 1991.

But all is not lost. The BBC reports that an executive from Brandbank, the company that sponsored the Mercury gorilla statue, said “We have spoken to one of the executives of the estate and are endeavoring to see if we can resolve this so that there’s a positive outcome for all the charities involved. Our priority is that the event is a success for the charities involved, while respecting the wishes of copyright owners and fans of Freddie Mercury.”

In the meantime, one fan has taken things a step further, reaching out to guitarist Brian May to get a response to the removal of the statue, which he deemed “outrageous and petty.” May replied that he doesn’t “know anything about this. I’ll find out.”

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