DAGENS NYHETER, ABBA THE MUSEUM (Sweden), COURRIER INTERNATIONAL (France)

Worldcrunch

STOCKHOLM - Thirty years after the broke up, iconic Swedish pop band ABBA is still making headlines, writes Courrier International.

On May 7, a huge ABBA museum will open in on Djurgarden island, in Stockholm. Tickets have already gone on sale, says ABBA The Museum.

The 5000 sq. meter building, includes a Hall of Fame and and 2,000 sq. meters of exhibition space retracing ABBA's history, success and break-up.

ABBA’s four band members – Agneta, Anni-Frid, Bjorn and Benny – will guide the visitors through the new museum. Well, not themselves per se, but the four singers have recorded their voices on audio guides that will guide the visitors through the museum, according to the Dagens Nyheter.

Visitors will be welcomed by a video outlining the group’s ascent to world fame. Surrounded by a large 360-degree circular screen, visitors will find themselves in the middle of a gigantic stadium, such as the Wembley stadium in London. They are then transported back to 1970, in the sunlit Gamleby Park, south Stockholm. The young quartet plays its first public tunes, under the not-very-attractive name Festfolket (“people of the party”).

Bjorn’s father, says the Dagens Nyheter, donated compiled clippings and objects from the group’s heyday. At the end of the museum’s trip through ABBA history, visitors enter a “divorce room,” depicting the separation of the two band’s two couples Bjorn Ulvaeus – Agneta Faltskog and Benny Andersson – Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Another room called “the shrine” allows visitors to try on authentic ABBA stages constumes.

“We will have a replica of Bjorn and Agneta’s kitchen. We will also have a room for visitors who want to go on stage and sing with holograms of the four ABBA members. It will be filmed, so that people can go home with a DVD of their concert with ABBA,” says museum Managing Director Mattias Hansson.

There is also a red phone like the one on the “Ring Ring” album cover, which will ring when visitors walk by.

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Geopolitics

Putin Psychology 101: The World Tries To Get Inside Russian Leader’s Head

Experts in geopolitics and the workings of world leaders have accelerated a two-decade long quest to understand the motivations of the enigmatic man in the Kremlin.

Vladimir Putin during the president's annual press conference in Russia

Kremlin.ru
Anna Akage

PARISVladimir Putin’s origin story, fed by Russian propaganda into the Western media, centers around his rise to lead Russia after a strategic KGB posting in the closing years of the Cold War. Understanding his current geopolitical ambitions would thus require that we imagine the mindset of a Soviet spymaster ready to manipulate world politics for the past two decades as he attempts to build a new Russian empire.

But what if Putin was nothing more than a desk clerk in his late 1980s posting in the eastern German city of Dresden? If the young functionary was simply a convenient tool plucked by the circle of oligarchs formed around then Russian president Boris Yeltsin to secure their own status? That indeed is the reading from influential Russian blogger and political analyst Maxim Katz, who last year exposed recently declassified documents that Putin was a minor player who went by the codename of “Moth” — not a bear or tiger, or even a hamster!

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