“I do not want to be an advertisement for a city that can’t see reason,” said Benny in a request that he be removed from the “Welcome to our hometown” poster that greets passengers flying into Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport.
As far as I recall, the poster that features Benny, also features Björn, Agnetha and Frida and is pictured (left).
The ABBA poster is part of a series of pictures, which also includes Roxette, Carola and Peter Jöback among others from the pop music world but also internationally famous and succesful luminaries from across Swedish society.
Benny suggests that his image should be replaced by that of Real Estate and Culture Commissioner Madeleine Sjöstedt’s, who guided the recent Slussen redevelopment plans through Stockholm’s City Council, much to Benny’s severe disappointment – and after a short but high profile opposition motion which Benny helped lead.
Also, as a point of some significance, Benny also wonders whether anyone asked August Strindberg (the famous Swedish novelist and playwright who died in 1912) whether he wanted his portrait hung at the airport.
I think Benny’s reaction to losing out to the council’s planned Slussen redevelopment proposals shows how deeply and passionately he cares about Stockholm, and looking back over the years, Benny has never said anything derogatory about his hometown that I am aware of.
Benny vows in the article in Dagens Nyheter to continue the fight.