It was the heart of the auction: a piano by Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) sold for 1.74 million pounds (about 2 million euros) in London. This is reported by The Guardian. Revenue of up to £3 million was expected. Many of the Queen singer’s possessions went under the hammer at the auction. Mercury is said to have written great Queen hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody” on the Yamaha G2 Baby Grand Piano. Fans and Queen star Brian May (76) had previously criticized the fact that items like this were now being auctioned off.

Mercury bequeathed his Kensington home and its contents to his close friend Mary Austin. More than 32 years after his death, she has now sold the inventory at Sotheby’s, with part of the proceeds going to charity.

Among other things, a garden door covered in graffiti went under the hammer, which, according to the Guardian, was sold for more than £400,000 (466,000 euros) including fees. Numerous Mercury fans from all over the world had immortalized themselves on it in several languages ​​and painted the door with homages to the singer. The auction house had estimated the proceeds at up to £25,000.

The manuscript for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ reportedly fetched £1.38m (€1.6m), also beating expectations. The 15 pages of lyrics with pencil and pen annotations apparently also reveal that the song was originally going to be called “Mongolian Rhapsody”.

In addition to numerous fans, Mercury’s former bandmate Brian May also criticized the auction. Queen’s guitarist made it clear on Instagram that he couldn’t watch the auction. He explained before the sale began: “Tomorrow Freddie’s most intimate personal items and writings that were part of what we have shared for so many years will go under the hammer and be auctioned off to the highest bidder and then be scattered forever. I can not watch. It’s too sad for us, his closest friends and family.”

Mercury died in 1991 at the age of 45. Just 24 hours earlier, he had confirmed in a statement that he had AIDS. According to media reports, part of the money raised at the auction will go to the Elton John Aids Foundation. However, it is apparently unclear how much. The auction could raise up to £11m (€12.8m).