Following on from the original news that ABBA’s ‘songwriting cottage’ is up for sale comes an intriguing and exciting development reported today by the Swedish press.
Björn Ulvaeus and his wife Lena have offered the municipality of Värmdö their famous writers cottage on Viggsö. The municipality is positive to the plans.
The home for ABBA during the seventies
Both ABBA-couples and their manager Stikkan Andersson bought properties on Viggsö during the seventies. In 2007 the Ulvaeus family bought another house on the island from Stikkan Andersson’s son Lasse Andersson. It is these two properties that have now been sold. Combined these beach properties are 14,540 square meters in size plus a large water area. The Ulvaeus family bought a farm in January 2010 on the island of Hölö, outside of Stavsnäs.
“This is a place with a lot of history that could be quite good to secure for the general public. It could possibly be turned into a mini ABBA-museum”, said the head of the culture department Lena Gullmert.
In December the municipality was contacted by the well-known real estate broker Christer Magnusson, who had earlier sold the two Ulvaeus family properties on Viggsö.
“No cottage is a world famous as this one, so I highlighted this specifically in our ad”, said Christer Magnusson.
A significant number of ABBA’s hits were created in this very cottage.
The municipality in tune
The offer came as a very welcome surprise for Värmdö. The municipality recently announced plans that to strengthen its brand and to position itself better as a tourist destination.
We have confirmed to the family that we are positive and that it would be great if all would indeed work out. In the ideal scenario we could turn the writers hut into an attraction with a mini-exposition of objects from the ABBA era, says newly appointed mayor Stellan Folkesson.
Just before Christmas a meeting was held between the mayor, the culture department head and the Ulvaeus family. Initially the idea was that the municipality would get the opportunity to open the writers cabin to the general public. But after discussions the agreement was made to leave that decision to the new owners of the property.
Buyer wants to protect
Johan Bengtsson, buyer of the Ulvaeus family property on Viggsö is unaware of the details of the discussions.
“We think it’s important and have set as a goal that the cottage shall be protected. We have engaged in a discussion with the municipality if and if so, how it can be made available for showings to the public or can be used in another way. It has to happen though in a way that is satisfactory for all parties”, he says to NVP.
The Bengtsson family owns several properties and museums, among others the museum of flight F15 in Söderhamn. They also invite the general public to “Byarnas Dag” in the province of Hälsningland once a year.
Initially there were plans to include the famous writers cottage in the ABBAWORLD exhibition that goes on at the moment. However the plans were rejected as the location and its history was seen at least as important as the cottage itself.
“Can be really good”
“It is a memorable place, which in my opinion is getting more and more interesting as time goes by”, says Stellan Folkesson.
Real estate broker Christer Magnusson hopes that the plans for a mini-museum on Viggsö will become reality: “If done properly, this can be really, really good”, he says.
Björn Ulvaeus has declined to comment on the project.
Many thanks to Michel Annink for the news and the translation.
Original Swedish article in NVP Nacka Värmdö Posten, 18 January 2011.