Brian May Speaks On Freddie Mercury Gorilla Art

Brian May has backed up Queen manager Jim Beach, who asked for a gorilla statue bearing the likeness of Freddie Mercury to be taken down. May says that Mercury's estate did not block the statue but asked that it be reworked to be more respectful of Freddie's memory.

"Far be it from me to make an artistic judgement on this - you can form your own opinion - but when the model was first seen, a number of people thought it was a crude and insulting effort," May said.

He added: "Freddie's estate asked Wild In Art if they'd have another go. The way it was reported, it looked as if the Mercury Phoenix Trust has blocked the deployment of the statue. But it wasn't a block at all, simply a request for an update to the paint job, to which Wild In Art kindly agreed."

May concluded that it is in the best interests of Mercury's estate that it protect the image of the departed singer.

"The estate could have taken a more lenient view," May said. "But if they had, it would be open season. There would be nothing to stop any number of companies like this making Freddie elephants or antelopes, or whatever, distorting Freddie's features just as they felt inclined, and making loads of money from lots of well-meaning people who might well feel they were contributing directly to a charity."

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