Swedish woman spots long-lost mixtape at art exhibition

Feb. 14 (UPI) — A Swedish woman visiting an art exhibit made an unexpected discovery — a cassette mixtape she lost during a trip to Spain more than 20 years earlier.

Stella Wedell said she vacationing with her family in Spain in the early 1990s, when she was only 12 years old, when she lost her mixtape. She said the tape was lost in Empuriabrava or on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

Wedell said she was visiting the Fotografiska gallery in Stockholm more than 20 years later when she spotted the water-damaged tape and a track list.

British artist and photographer Mandy Barker, whose Sea of Artifacts exhibition was about plastic pollution, said the tape washed up in 2017 on the beach at Playa de Barlovento de Jandia on Fuerteventura, a Spanish island off the coast of Africa. The island is about 1,200 miles from where Wedell believes she lost the recording.

Barker said she enlisted the help of a professional audio restorer, who was able to list the tracks, which included songs by Shaggy, Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Pet Shop Boys, Soul Asylum and multiple Disney songs.

Wedell said she took a photo of the track list at the exhibition and compared it to the mix CD she used to create the tape. It had all of the same songs, except for the first two on the CD, which Wedell said she left off the tape on purpose.

“I always made tapes from my CDs at in this time to listen to them with my Walkman, especially for holidays, and to think that a tape I could have lost more than 20 years ago had been found was incredible,” Wedell told CNN.

Barker said she was shocked when Wedell contacted her.

“She said she was shocked to find it and when I read her email I couldn’t believe it either. It was shock all round,” she told Sky News. “The songs at the start were damaged but further in the songs were as clear as they would be today. It shows how long plastic can exist in the sea.”

Barker said the tape will be returned to Wedell once the exhibition has completed its tour.

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