Brian May will turn detective to discover why a gorilla sculpture, painted as his Queen colleague Freddie Mercury, has been removed from the streets of Norwich.
The statue, which even sports the rock idol’s moustache, was confiscated after the Mercury Phoenix, which administers the late singer's estate, declared the outfit of a yellow jacket and white slacks worn by the popular ape was a breach of copyright.
Organisers of Go Go Gorillas, a charity art trail which features similar gorillas all over the city, were contacted by Jim Beach, Queen’s manager, on the estate’s behalf.
But when asked on Twitter if he knew about the missing ape, Dr May - who is a trustee of the charity - wrote:
@snudge27 I don't know anything about this. I'll find out . Thanks - Bri— Dr. Brian May (@DrBrianMay) July 8, 2013
According to ITV News, the guitarist has also condemned the removal as "outrageous and petty".
The Freddie ‘Radio Go Go’ statue took Norfolk artist Mik Richardson three days to create; he said the decision to remove it was “absolutely shocking … I'm a mural artist and I have to be very careful about copyright. I didn't copy the suit exactly. I alter enough so that it's fan art, rather than a copy of it.”
Delivered by the arts and education company Wild in Art, a local children’s charity Break and a Born Free project to protect lowland gorillas in the Congo, the trail allowed visitors to track tens of the brightly coloured beasts around Norwich’s streets and parks, but now they’ll be one fewer to spot.
The charity is yet to comment.Reuse content