Thank You For the Museum: Permanent ABBA Exhibit Opens in Sweden

ABBA The Museum opened in Stockholm May 7, 2013

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Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP / Getty Images

The Gold Room, featuring golden records and costumes, at the world's first permanent ABBA museum, on May 6, 2013, in Stockholm

After months of anticipation since the announcement came last October, the big day has come for fans of the erstwhile Swedish pop group ABBA: the official ‘ABBA The Museum’ in Stockholm has opened. In the years since the foursome—Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad—met in 1969, ABBA has sold more than 370 million albums and singles worldwide and is the most successful Swedish music group of all time.

The museum—a project of the Swedish Music Hall of Fame—will take visitors from their 1970 pre-ABBA beginnings to their Eurovision breakthrough to their break-up in 1983. But it’s not just disco fans who should care about ABBA, the museum’s managing director Mattias Hansson said in a statement:

Swedish pop music is an important part of our cultural heritage… And ABBA is one of our most well-known international brands. It’s our duty to give their work a permanent space here.

A traveling ABBA exhibit made the rounds a few years ago, but this is the first time the group’s memorabilia has found a permanent home.

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Not that the museum is just memorabilia. There’s a piano linked to one in Benny Andersson’s studio; when he plays there, the piano plays in the museum too. There’s a phone visitors can answer, to which only the band members have the number. There’s a scrapbook made by Björn Ulvaeus’ father. There’s a flashing disco dance floor. There’s a karaoke studio; the website makes it easy to practice. There’s even a little bit of technical magic that allows visitors to see what they’d look like in ABBA’s costumes.

One thing the museum doesn’t come with? An ABBA reunion. According to Reuters, Ulvaeus said that the band has no plans to get back together; Faltskof said the same to the New York Times earlier this week, while discussing her new solo album.

UPDATE 3:00 ET: Mattias Hansson, the museum’s CEO and director, tells TIME that the opening day went smoothly—thanks in part to a pre-book ticketing system—and that the highlight of the day, for him, was when ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus opened up the door to all the fans waiting to enter. But just because the exhibit is now open doesn’t mean ABBA The Museum is done evolving. “We’re already working on ideas of how we can take the exhibition to the next level,” Hansson says. “We’ll be there now for a couple of hundred years, so we have to constantly upgrade.”

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