Video and Photo gallery: Legal threat forces removal of “Freddie Mercury” gorilla from Norwich street

GoGoGorilla Freddie is seen by the final few members of the public before he is un-bolted from his plinth and carried away. Picture: Simon Finlay GoGoGorilla Freddie is seen by the final few members of the public before he is un-bolted from his plinth and carried away. Picture: Simon Finlay

Monday, July 8, 2013
3:17 PM

One of Norwich’s colourful troop of fundraising GoGoGorillas has had to be removed today after the Mercury Phoenix Trust - a charity formed following the death of Freddie Mercury - warned they might take legal action.

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Freddie, who was located outside The Forum, was one of 53 differently designed apes which have taken up residence at sites across the city part of the GoGoGorillas! Project which will help raise vital funds for charity.

But organisers of the charity art trail, which is raising funds for Break, which supports children, young people and families across East Anglia, and Born Free’s project to help lowland gorillas in the Congo, have been forced to remove Freddie today.

The popular ape, which featured the Queen idol’s trademark moustache, was removed from his plinth on Millennium Plain after The Mercury Phoenix Trust asking trail organisers to remove the gorilla from the streets or face the prospect of legal action.

Martin Green, project manager of Go Go Gorillas, said he was “disappointed” to have to remove Freddie but said they were “carrying out the wishes” of another charity.

He said the gorilla would be repainted by an artist with another design and they appear back on the streets later this week.

Mr Green said he would be talking to sponsors this afternoon about what will replace Freddie with one vision possible Alan Partridge or perhaps even Andy Murray to reflect his achievement in becoming the first British male to win Wimbledon in 77 years.

For the full story see tomorrow’s paper.

41 comments

  • I knew the EDP could not resist mentioning Andy Murray somewhere on the here, even i did not expect to see it in a story about a Freddie Mercury Gorilla, classic reporting spin.

    Report this comment

    ggj666

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Why not offer a nominal payment to the Aids charity to keep it as it is?

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    AE

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • I guess the charity heard the Freddy Gorilla shout "I want to break free". Oh well, I guess the show must go on!!

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    Adams is God

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • A-HAAAAAA --- Bring back the Gorilla painted as Alan Partridge. He is the only one who can save Norwich and sort this mess out. Since there is no gorilla at Anglia Square, position it there. Perfect for the world premiere of Alpha Papa.

    Report this comment

    woodgreener

    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

  • http:www.mercuryphoenixtrust.comsitepost_Press%20Release:%20Freddie%20Mercury%27s%20Tribute%20Lion%20Set%20to%20Join%20Pride%20of%20Cape%20Town_1732 Surely if they've done a lion in Cape Town we can have a Gorilla in Norwich!!

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    Fred

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • This appears to be another outrageous threat of legal action to suppress artistic expression - with one charity threatening another with legal action. What makes this difficult to understand is the the Mercury Phoenix Trust supported the creation and sale of a Freddie lion (see news section of their website). The Freddie lion was part of the People's Lion, very similar to GoGoGorillas! and benefited the Born Free Foundation too! Why not email Brian May on his official website - brians.soapbox@clara.co.uk and tell him what you think. I doubt that he was involved in the legal action threat, but the negative reaction to this story will impact on the MPT and him!

    Report this comment

    Queen Fan

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • i have just visited mercury phoenix trust web site on there they are backing a mule sculpture painted as Freddie mercury in cape town so why not back our gorilla couldn't find a email address for them

    Report this comment

    captain

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Well done Alan daie for your comments on their Facebook

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    Reader

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Think we should email complaints to the Mercury Phoenix Trust and say we are not prepared to support their charity if this is how they use their resources. Go Go Gorillas have confirmed Freddie will be removed and return as a new Gorilla.

    Report this comment

    gringo69

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • I've just been thinking, can the Mercury Phoenix Trust actually do this? Queen still exist as a band, so surely the copyright is with them or their record company. Maybe Go Go Gorillas should be suing them!

    Report this comment

    gringo69

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Mercury Phoenix are obviously an unpleasant bunch who don't actually know the meaning of charity. They have their nice little earner and are unwilling to share.

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Perhaps a compromise would have been better where their name and logo were added to the gorilla so raising awareness for them too?

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    Samantha Moore

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Wouldn't it make more sense for the charity to get on board and use this in a positive way to promote their charitable work?

    Report this comment

    thebioguru

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • funding@mercuryphoenixtrust.com This is the only email I could find on their website. Disgusted by their attitude, especially when they've previously allowed a similar event to use this image.

    Report this comment

    Is it me?

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • A better alternative to e-mailing them would be to leave a message on the Mercury Phoenix Trust Facebook page or set up a Twitter campaign to demand the return of the Freddy Mercury gorilla. Unfortunately being wrong side of 40 I have no idea how to actually do this!

    Report this comment

    Betty Swallocks

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Tweet your disapproval to them @the_MPT Not that they will answer of course.

    Report this comment

    KeithS

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Most Charitys are industrys today,and are very competitve to achieve donations for their particular charity,but centainly this is a veru unpleasant action by the Mercury Phoenix Trust

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    Albert Cooper

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Mad Brewers comment, absolute classic !

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    che bramley

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • It's not even a real gorilla.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Freddy would probably say "stick it up your Barcelona".

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • How ridiculous! This world has gone mad. The gorillas give a lot of pleasure, and it's all done for charity. How small minded can The Mercury Phoenix Trust be?

    Report this comment

    Daisy

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • If only Freddie was still with us. I can't believe he'd be so petty as those that now purport to promote causes in his name that are relevant and worthwhile. A good compromise could have been getting some Freddie impersonators to sign some of his tunes by the Gorilla, with any funds collected going to his charity. Charities should build on opportunities not push them away. A "Kind of Magic" trick completely missed.

    Report this comment

    BureValleyPaddy

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • The truth about charities. The public perception is that they raise money for good causes, but because so few of their staff are voluntary nowadays, they have become a massive gravy train. How many hundreds of thousands have to be raised to pay the freeloaders before the first penny is spent on meeting the charitable object? If the offending gorilla is to be repainted with a new theme and replaced, might I suggest avoiding the Olympic rings logo.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Hang on a minute. Although I'm a big queen fan I am still more than capable of criticising them when they show how money grabbing they are these days, and how little they care for their fans. But surely here we are talking about someone who is using a trademarked image without permission? It is understandable that the charity wishes to protect what it's image is seen to promote? You just can't go round using someone's image without their permission! If they had just shown the common courtesy to ask permission, such as the people who did the lion, then I am sure the answer would be yes. But you can't have people just using an image without permission and then putting moral blackmail on the owners! It's like someone building something without planning permission and then trying to get retrospective permission. Stop criticising the MPT and point the finger at the idiots who allowed this to happen and are now trying to deflect from their own stupidity by making another charity look bad. Pathetic.

    Report this comment

    norwichred

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • I agree that it should have been removed, not on legal terms but because initial was such an awful design, very disrespectful to a wonderful guy.

    Report this comment

    ITSFISKO

    Sunday, July 14, 2013

  • how disgraceful. The Mercury Phoenix trust, presumably wasting donations being used to pay their fatcats to make pointless decisions like this. Surely a charity should be more 'charitable' in supporting other charities. What would Freddie Mercury be saying right now? It should be an honour that somebody is paying tribute to this legend.

    Report this comment

    gringo69

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Does this 'trust' own the rights to Freddie Mercury's image? If not, can't see how their threatened legal action would have stood up in court.

    Report this comment

    beachstar

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Here is a link from their own website, promoting a similarly painted lion which is raising money for Born Free http:www.mercuryphoenixtrust.comsitepost_Press%20Release:%20Freddie%20Mercury's%20Tribute%20Lion%20Set%20to%20Join%20Pride%20of%20Cape%20Town_1732

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    MAZMINGUS

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • It's not even a real suit!

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • The Mercury Phoenix Trust have definitely gone ga ga over this!

    Report this comment

    Rich Hartt

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • so is this being removed to be repainted, like has been requested or completely taken away? And when is it going? I spent six hours going round with my Daughter yesterday but haven't seen this one yet and she wants to tick them all off.

    Report this comment

    gringo69

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • Freddie is an iconic public figure and I am rather surprised at their action on this. I understand about the MPT and their wish that Freddie remains an icon for them to raise awareness and money for HIV but this was not using him as an icon for specifics this is a trail outlining many things that people love and surely this could only bring awareness for them too. I think that Freddie would himself have been dissapointed in their actions to be honest. The MPT was set up by surviving band members and I think their manager too and I just can not imagine them being like this to be honest.

    Report this comment

    Samantha Moore

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • How ridiculous! This world has gone mad. The gorillas give a lot of pleasure, and it's all done for charity. How small minded can The Mercury Phoenix Trust be?

    Report this comment

    Daisy

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • The other charity is the Born Free Foundation they have brought out some lions one painted as Freddy Mercury in Cape Town!!

    Report this comment

    sr44

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • He's just a poor chimp from a poor county.

    Report this comment

    One Horse Town

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • funding@mercuryphoenixtrust.com This is the only email I could find on their website. Disgusted by their attitude, especially when they've previously allowed a similar event to use this image.

    Report this comment

    Is it me?

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • If you are right, Queenie, Archant need to publish a retraction? In Cley recently a doggie-woggie fancy-dress competition, judged by Anneka Rice, resulted in 3rd prize to a mutt dressed as Mercury. Will Freddie`s Estate now sue Anneka and have the dog `put down`? Or sue the dog and.....

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 14, 2013

  • What killjoys, and a good example of how not to get support and engage with people. Their loss.

    Report this comment

    Andy T

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • I say we start a Twitter campaign with the hashtag freddiegorilla and tell everyone how disgusted we are with the Mercury Phoenix Trust. We can also post on their facebook wall. Come on - let's show them how upset folk are with their decision

    Report this comment

    norfolkdumpling

    Monday, July 8, 2013

  • The removal of the gorilla has absolutely nothing to do with The Mercury Phoenix Trust, it was Freddie's estate. I think it's utterly unfair a fantastic charity is receiving such criticism for something that they never instigated. You need to research your stories because reporting such massive errors severely impacts on the funds they receive for the vital work they do.

    Report this comment

    Queenie

    Saturday, July 13, 2013

  • Think we should email complaints to the Mercury Phoenix Trust and say we are not prepared to support their charity if this is how they use their resources. Go Go Gorillas have confirmed Freddie will be removed and return as a new Gorilla.

    Report this comment

    gringo69

    Monday, July 8, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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