Fab Four? Nein Danke

A mere half century after The Beatles rocked Hamburg, it seems that the German love of the Scouse foursome has finally reached saturation point. Hamburg’s Beatlemania museum is closing its doors and hauling down the inflatable yellow submarine.

The museum has been going for just three years, after opening to lavish publicity in 2009, offering a range of exhibits and memorabilia over five floors, including John and Paul’s fish and chip shop at street level. In three years, 150,000 visitors perused the museum, but that number fell far short of expectations and commercial viability.

Manager Folkert Koopmanns explained the closure to the Hamburger Morgenpost. "In view of the high deficits, there is no solution left but closure, if you want to act responsibly," he said. "A privately-run museum as big as Beatlemania is condemned to fail without public support. That's a fact that we fought against until enthusiasm turned into resignation – a bitter experience."

Hamburg was the city where the then-unknown Beatles honed their craft, playing in front of rowdy crowds of dockers and squaddies, and picking up a taste for amphetamines. John Lennon said it was the city where he became an adult.

The museum may be able to recoup some of its losses by selling off some of the prized memorabilia. Collectors still pay high prices for Beatles rarities. Recently, a photograph of the Beatles walking backwards across the famous zebra crossing at Abbey Road was sold for £16,000.

Beatles fans have until the end of June to pay a visit.

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