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Bring Back Maddy
LONDON - The parents of Madeline McCann will launch the European leg of their world tour with a visit to Pope Benedict on Wednesday, Mojo magazine announced on its website today.
Kate and Gerry McCann, whose daughter went missing on May 3 after they had left her alone in their vacation apartment in Portugal while they went out to dinner, are hoping their high-profile appearances with religious and civic dignitaries, as well as a number of performances in support of the Rolling Stones, will keep the missing four-year-old’s image in the public eye and thereby increase her chances of being found.
The Keep Hope Alive 2007 tour will touch down in a variety of venues from large open-air theaters like St. Peter’s Square to more intimate, clublike settings. After their appearance with the pope—a last minute replacement for Bono—the McCanns are expected to make stops in Germany, Spain, France, and the Netherlands before joining the Rolling Stones in Belgium for an appearance in Werchter Park on June 5.
Dashiell Lawrence, Great Britain’s Foreign Office liaison and former road manager for Queen, is helping the McCanns to plan their tour and to deal with sniping from critics, many of whom who feel the McCanns are “one-miss wonders,” seeking to turn their daughter’s disappearance into their own ticket to ride.
“Sure Katie and The Ger will be traveling by private jet and staying at four- and five-star hotels on this tour,” said Mr. Lawrence, “but when you’ve earned the kind of off-the-chart celebrity that they have, you can’t fly commercial or stay at budget lodges or go out to dinner without being mobbed. Besides, regular restaurants remind them too much of their daughter, and they don’t need that distraction on their first world tour.”
Mr. Lawrence promised that the McCanns will try to keep ticket prices down at the stops on the tour where they are the headliners, so that “the little people who have been with them from the start” can afford to see them. He noted, however, that the McCanns had no control over prices for the Rolling Stones appearances, “which often approach a king’s ransom, if you’ll pardon the expression.”
A source close to the tour said the McCanns will jet home each day to their base on the French Riviera as often as their schedule allows so their other two children, two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, will not have to be left alone overnight any more than is necessary.
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