May 9 (Reuters) - A new exhibition celebrating the career of Pink Floyd, featuring a raft of memorabilia and tributes to the rock group's famously surreal iconography, opens in London on Sunday.
The Victoria and Albert Museum hosts "The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains," to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of the British band's debut album, "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn."
"It's not just about nostalgia," said Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, who worked with the designers behind some of the band's most legendary album artwork, Aubrey "Po" Powell and Storm Thorgerson, to conceive and develop the exhibition.
"Fifty years always seems like a good moment, and the truth of the matter is that we're not all here forever. We've lost two of the band over the years," he said, referring to original lead guitarist and main songwriter Syd Barrett and keyboardist Rick Wright, "and it's so important...if you want to tell these stories to do it when people are still around to tell them."
The exhibition is an audio-visual chronicle of Pink Floyd's rise from the darlings of London's underground music scene in the late 1960s to global stardom and a career that saw them sell over 250 million albums.
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Visitors enter through an oversized recreation of the van that carried Pink Floyd to their early gigs, and can view over 350 artifacts ranging from original concert posters to guitars from the band's career in addition to unreleased footage of the group at work.
Iconic imagery range from a mock-up of London's Battersea power station, which featured in the cover art for the band's 1977 "Animals" album, and the wall, complete with a towering head teacher, that was part of the stage set on their 1980-1981 tour for "The Wall" album.
(Reporting by Reuters Television writing by Mark Hanrahan; editing by Mark Heinrich)