South Korean film company to build cinemas in Yangon

A South Korean film company, Noble Assets, plans to cooperate with local entrepreneurs to build more cineplex theaters in Yangon within this year, according to an official from Noble Assets.

Myanmar constitution vests military chief with more power than president, says foreign expert

The 2008 State Constitution of Myanmar gives the military a much bigger role and the defence services commander-in-chief has more power than the president, a foreign law expert said.

Shan regional govt to take over Nyaung Shwe Palace

The Ministry of Culture will hand over the 100-year palace of the last fuedal lord of Nyaung Shwe in southern Shan State to Shan regional government.

Lack of renovation in Mandalay ancient cultural zone

update myanmar news

Urgent renovation work is needed in Mandalay ancient cultural zone to accommodate the growing number of tourists, which has exceeded 100,000 this past year, said the directorate of travel and tourism of Mandalay Region.

‘ABBA fever hits Stockholm at museum opening’


ABBA fever hit Stockholm on Tuesday when a museum devoted to the Swedish pop legends opened — filling a void in the hearts of millions of fans since the group disbanded three decades ago and likely to fill the pockets of Sweden’s tourism industry too.

“I’m so moved, I think it’s so fantastic that we get to see the history of ABBA,” said 46-year-old Swede Henrik Ahlen, who lives in London but came to Stockholm to be one of the first to tour the new museum.

“I was eight years old when they won the Eurovision Song Contest (in 1974) and they have always been a part of me.”

Like many of the first visitors, most of whom were in their 40s and all of whom were taking pictures, Ahlen had tears in his eyes as he looked around.

The museum features a host of exhibits including the glitzy costumes worn by the group, which has sold more than 378 million albums worldwide.

A 31-year-old Argentinian woman named Celeste, who said her grandmother raised her on ABBA music, said she could “spend the whole day in the costume room.”

“I’ve already been to Sweden eight times and every time it was ABBA-related,” she said, adding that she learned Swedish because of the band and that she had had five ABBA costumes sewn up for herself.

The quartet dominated the 1970s disco scene with their costumes, kitsch dance routines and catchy melodies such as “Voulez Vous”, “Dancing Queen” and “Waterloo”, the song that won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest and thrust the band into the international spotlight.

They last performed on stage together in 1982 and split a year later, and have vowed they will never reunite to sing together again.

“There is simply no motivation to regroup. Money is not a factor and we would like people to remember us as we were,” band member Bjoern Ulvaeus, 68, said in a 2008 interview.

On Monday, Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad and Benny Andersson attended a VIP event at the museum. Agnetha Faeltskog was promoting her latest solo album in London and did not attend.

The state-of-the-art museum, located on Stockholm’s leafy island of Djurgaarden, allows visitors to get up close and personal with the band in interactive displays.

In one room, fans who have dreamt of becoming the fifth member of the band will be able to appear on stage with the quartet and record a song with them thanks to a computer simulation.

In another room dedicated to the song “Ring, Ring”, a 1970s telephone will be on display. Only four people know the phone number: the four ABBA members, who may occasionally call to speak live with museum visitors.

Other rooms feature childhood photos, the band’s costumes and instruments, gold records, replicas of their recording studio and dressing rooms, and their stylist’s worktable.

Visitors get the band’s inside story told “with humour and warmth. They’ll get close to the truth,” Ulvaeus, who was married to Faeltskog, told reporters on Monday.

Andersson and Lyngstad were also married.

“We also talk about daily life, life with the children, our break-up, the crises, things we haven’t talked much about, the divorces. We’ve gone beyond the happy image that we presented,” he told AFP in an interview.

Opening-day visitors gushed with excitement.