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Brian May to look into Freddie Mercury gorilla dispute

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Jul 09, 2013 | 4:50pm EDT

Queen star Brian May is planning to personally investigate the reasons behind the removal of a gorilla sculpture painted to resemble the band's late frontman Freddie Mercury following a copyright dispute. The statue, named Freddie 'Radio Go Go' Gorilla, was placed outside The Forum venue in Norwich, England as part of an art trail by organisers at creative group Go Go Gorillas, ahead of a planned auction to raise money for charity. However, they were forced to take the life-sized gorilla down on Monday (08Jul13) after receiving a complaint from executives at the Mercury Phoenix Trust, an AIDS awareness charity set up in the Queen singer's name following his death from complications of the disease in 1991. They claimed the yellow jacket the gorilla was painted in, made to look just like the flamboyant frontman's famous stage outfit, breached their copyright and requested it be withdrawn from public display and redecorated. A Twitter.com user brought the news to May's attention later on Monday and requested he intervene in a bid to change trust officials' minds. The rocker admitted he had not heard about the controversy and promised to find out more about the situation himself. Responding to the fan, he tweeted, "I don't know anything about this. I'll find out. Thanks".

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