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London museum cancels heavy metal gig, fearing noise damage

A visitor takes a rest outside the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London February 19, 2007. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico
A visitor takes a rest outside the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London February 19, 2007. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

LONDON (Reuters) - London's famed Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has canceled an experimental concert by extreme metal band Napalm Death, fearing the noise level could damage the 104-year-old building.

Ceramic artist Keith Harrison from the V&A, the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, collaborated with Napalm Death on a set to be played through a sculptural sound system which would disintegrate under decibel stress.

But museum officials said the one-off performance, scheduled for Friday in the V&A's Europe Galleries, had been canceled out of concern it was not only the intended sculpture that would be damaged.

"A further safety inspection has revealed concerns that the high level of decibels generated by the concert would damage the historic fabric of the building," a museum statement said.

"The V&A is committed to an exciting program of exhibitions and events but the safety of our visitors and building remains our priority at all times."

Napalm Death, a self-described "grindcore" band which has released 14 albums since forming in Birmingham in central England 30 years ago, said the project aimed to merge extreme metal and art.

The band, whose last album included songs like "Leper Colony" and "A Gag Reflex", is listed by Nielsen SoundScan as the seventh best-selling death metal band in the United States.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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