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Charity forced to remove Freddie Mercury gorilla statue

By Michael Thomas     Jul 8, 2013 in World
Norwich - A conservation art trail called Go Go Gorillas in Norwich, England was ordered to remove and repaint a gorilla statue painted to look like Queen's late lead singer.
BBC News reports that Mik Richardson, the artist who painted the sculpture, was contacted by Mercury Phoenix Trust, an AIDS charity formed after Freddie Mercury died in 1991. The trust claimed that they owned the copyright to the suit the gorilla statue was wearing.
"It's dreadful. It's petty, really," Richardson told the BBC. "The night I was told I couldn't sleep."
The artist claimed that he had altered the jacket enough to qualify the statue as fan art, but Mercury Phoenix Trust clearly disagreed with him.
Richardson has said that he will change the statue, called Radio Go Go, and visitors to the trail should see the gorilla's new look in about 10 days. Richardson was paid £800 (about $1,200 US) to paint and design the gorilla. The process took him three days.
Metro also reports that there are several possible candidates for whom the gorilla statue will be re-painted to resemble. Some ideas include Andy Murray, who recently ended the UK's decades-long drought at Wimbledon, as well as Alan Partridge.
Radio Go Go is one of 53 life-size gorillas painted by local Norfolk artists. Sixty-seven baby gorillas were also painted by local schools. All of the statues will be available for viewing along the art trail this summer.
Other themed gorillas include one called Bling Kong, another that resembles the Transformer Optimus Prime and even one dressed as Iron Man.
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