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Prince Exhibition Will Bring Paisley Park Memorabilia to London


Prince performing in California in 1985. A purple coat and a ruffled shirt from the “Purple Rain” tour will be among the items on display at the O2 Arena in London.

Liu Heung Shing/Associated Press

LONDON — An orange Cloud guitar made for a Super Bowl halftime performance; a diamond vest and a diamond-studded cane; the famous purple coat and ruffled shirt from the “Purple Rain” tour. These items and hundreds more, worn by and belonging to the pop star Prince, who died in April 2016, are set to travel from his estate, Paisley Park, outside Minneapolis, to the O2 Arena here for the first international exhibition centered on the musician.

The O2 Arena has a particular resonance for Prince fans, since he performed there for a 21-night stand in 2007. The exhibition, “My Name Is Prince,” will open Oct. 27 and run for 21 days.

“London was the city that accepted Prince the most,” said Tyka Nelson, Prince’s sister, in an interview with The Evening Standard newspaper. “It was the obvious choice of where we should exhibit first, it just felt right.”

Prince, who died at 57 of an accidental overdose of prescription painkillers, left a trove of unreleased songs — which have been the subject of continuing disputes — as well as costumes, jewelry, makeup, equipment, instruments, handwritten song lyrics and other ephemera. “My Name Is Prince” will feature a selection of these items, a tiny fraction of the vast archives at Paisley Park, which opened as a museum in October 2016. (By April of this year, the archive team had cataloged around 7,000 items, estimated as less than 5 percent of the material.)

Ms. Nelson said the exhibition would include “lots of never-before-seen articles.” She added: “The standout piece for me is his orange Cloud guitar. It is strange because people always associate the color purple with Prince, but his favorite color was actually orange.”

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