Madame Tussauds Wax Museum was started by Anna Maria or ‘Marie Tussaud ‘in 1835. Her mother used to work for Dr Philippe Curtis, who was a Physician in Bern and also well known as a wax sculptor. As a little girl, Marie was tutored by Dr Curtis and inherited his entire collection after his death. The first independent sculpture made by her was that of the French thinker Francois Voltaire when she was only 16 years old. interestingly, she would never have made it to London as she was imprisoned during the French Revolution, but luckily was saved by an influential friend.
Today, Madame Tussauds Wax museum has wax statues of famous personalities, a horror chamber, The London Taxi ride and a 4D show. The process of making a single life-size statue is quite intense and takes around 4 months costing around USD 300,000/-. It is important to note that the figures are made 2% larger than their actual size, accounting for the melting of the wax during the procedure. There are approximately 100,000 hair on each statue’s head, the planting process taking around 5 weeks.
The Oldest statue on display is Madame Du Barry which was sculpted by Dr Curtis himself. The Incredible Hulk is the largest statue at the museum. In 1842, Madame Tussaud made a self-statue, which is today placed at the entrance of the museum. Mother Teresa is one of the very few people who refused to get sculpted for the museum.
The first overseas branch opened in Amsterdam in 1970. Today with 24 Branches spread across 4 continents, it is one of the largest museum Franchises in the world and certainly one of the most famous tourist attractions in London.