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"It's a testament to both the importance of music in people's lives as well as the passion this kind of issue stirs up, that so much interest has been generated by the perceived threat to the future of Abbey Road."
—-U.K. cultural minister Margaret Hodge
U.K. SEEKS TO SAVE ABBEY ROAD
EMI Insists Studio is Not for Sale, But Government Steps In Anyway
With speculation rampant that the historic Abbey Road studios is up for sale, the U.K. government has official given the building protected status.

The 1830s villa at No. 3 Abbey Road in north London was acknowledged for its historic merit. The decision, based on advice from the body English Heritage, was confirmed today by culture minister Margaret Hodge.

EMI Music, which owns Abbey Road, announced over the weekend that it did not intend to sell the studios where the Beatles recorded most of their songs. The major said it is in talks with third party investors about revitalizing the site, possibly as a tourist attraction, though nothing was revealed.

"It has huge cultural importance and a very special place in the hearts of recording artists and music lovers alike," said a government statement. "The new listing status will ensure that, although changes to the interior are not prohibited, care must be taken to ensure that any alterations with respect to its character and interest are fully considered.

"The Abbey Road Studios have been listed in acknowledgement of their outstanding cultural interest and to ensure that recording artists for generations to come can continue to make and record music in the same rooms as musical icons of years gone by."

The landmark’s “Grade II” listed status means that all decisions regarding the building's future will have to take that into consideration, with preservation weighed against the merits of any redevelopment plans.

"Music is the thread that follows us through all our lives and Abbey Road Studios have produced some of the very best music in the world," said cultural minister Hodge in a statement. "It's a testament to both the importance of music in people's lives as well as the passion this kind of issue stirs up, that so much interest has been generated by the perceived threat to the future of Abbey Road."

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