Could Freddie Mercury gorilla be set for a return to Norwich streets?

GoGoGorilla Freddie is seen by the final few members of the public before he is un-bolted from his p

GoGoGorilla Freddie is seen by the final few members of the public before he is un-bolted from his plinth and carried away to the van and driven away like a prisoner.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The streets of Norwich could be about to welcome a new-look Freddie Mercury gorilla following the removal of the original sculpture earlier this week which caused a controversy Queen guitarist Brian May said need not have happened.

Freddie 'Radio Go Go Gorilla' was taken from his plinth outside of The Forum in Norwich earlier this week after organisers of GoGoGorillas! – a fundraising art trail – were contacted by Mercury Phoenix Trust, an Aids charity set up in memory of the Queen singer, who died in 1991.

The decision caused a storm with some branding it 'outrageous and petty' and led to rumours the sculpture could be replaced by Alan Partridge. But the wishes of those who want to see a Freddie sculpture back on the streets could be about to come true.

Martin Green, project manager, said: 'The GoGoGorillas team have been speaking directly to the Freddie Mercury Estate and have agreed on a new design for Freddie 'Radio GoGoGorilla'. The artist is currently working on the design and it will be ready to be revealed next week so that it can again take its place on the trail.'

Queen guitarist Brian May said the whole controversy could have been avoided. Speaking on his blog Bri's Soapox, he said: 'The normal way to approach this, of course, would have been for the event organisers to phone up Freddie's estate and ask their permission, and give them approval of the art work. Then there would have been no argument - no 'sensation'.'

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Charlie Langhorne, director of Wild in Art, which supplied the sculptures, said: 'I think perhaps all parties could've done things a little better but we were contacted and said, absolutely, if anyone is offended by this one way or another then its got to go and that's what's happened.'

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