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Queen's Brian May reveals plans to open museum for unique Diableries collection

Guitarist, animal rights activist, art collector - is there anything Brian May can't do?!

Emmy Griffiths

Brian May is a man of many, many talents. Not only is he the legendary guitarist of the band Queen, which still tours over 40 years after it was formed back in 1970, he is also a doctor of Astrophysics, a passionate animal rights activist, and a collector of historical artefacts. His Les Diableries collection, a series of stereoscopic photographs that were published back in the 1860s, was recently exhibited in London. As the first exhibition of its kind in 160 years, Brian opened up to HELLO! about his plans to open a museum to house the unique collection.

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Brian opened up about the collection ©Paul Harmer

He said: "I'm founding what amounts to the first and only British museum and stereoscopic photography. I had it in my mind for a long time. There's no museum dedicated to stereoscopy and it's a rich treasure, a legacy of those glory days in the 1850s and 60s. I founded a charity called the London Stereoscopy Archive, which I hope will be enduring. It took about 18 months to get all of the legal stuff in place, but we now have it. It will be a physical collection that I hope lasts long after I'm gone!"

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There are plans to open a museum dedicated to the photography©Paul Harmer

Speaking about his lifelong interest in the collection, in which he, along with coauthors and art historians, Denis Pellerin & Paula Fleming, only recently found the final two pieces of artwork, he explained: "It was the magic of the thing itself. The first time I saw one was in Portobello Road 50 years ago… One day one of my favourite dealers said, 'Have you ever seen one of these?' and I looked closely and it was all of these little devils and ghouls and things… I was just blown away and I have been ever since."

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With so many different activities, isn't the legend himself exhausted? The 72-year-old joked: "Sometimes I am! I think human beings have to keep moving. I think that's one of the big secrets of life and I do keep moving, my head is always moving from place to place. I wear different hats depending on what's going on. I do get tired and probably don't sleep enough, but everything that happens is a bonus, everything is a treasure." Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures in Hell - The Complete Edition, by Brian, Denis Pellerin, Paula Fleming goes on sale on Halloween, 31 October.

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