Pop-up exhibition shows life of Kray twins in London's East end

Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:51pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Pictures of the notorious Kray twins and their native London East End go on display in a pop-up exhibition in the British capital on Friday, ahead of the release of a film about the gangsters.

The feared brothers Ronnie and Reggie, who died in 1995 and 2000 respectively, built up a crime empire in the 1950s and 1960s. Murder convictions sent them to jail for life in 1969 but to this day they hold almost mythical status in Britain.

"Legend of the East End" displays photographs of the twins and the area, suits worn by Ronnie Kray and props from the upcoming "Legend" film in which "Mad Max: Fury Road" actor Tom Hardy stars as both of the brothers.

"The exhibition is kind of to contextualise who the Krays were, where they came from ... what the East End means and what it meant," exhibition curator Zelda Cheattle said.

"It puts a new light on maybe a rather cliched and romanticized view of what people have previously thought of the East End."

The exhibition in London's Bethnal Green also features a replica of the twins' mother Violet's living room -- with sofas, family pictures and china for tea -- where visitors can watch videos of locals talk about the brothers and the area.

"Legend of the East End" runs until Sept. 11. The film "Legend" opens in UK cinemas on Sept. 9 and in the United States on Oct. 2.

(Reporting By Francis Maguire; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian)