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What Is Madame Tussauds?

Las Vegas is home to a branch of Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum.
Waxworks of many celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, can be seen at Madame Tussauds.
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  • Written By: Lee Johnson
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Images By: Gainford Girl, 1950Sunlimited
  • Last Modified Date: 26 August 2014
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Madame Tussauds is a wax figure museum, which now has several different locations across the world. The museum features models of famous and historical people made out of wax and arranged into various different exhibits. It is a big tourist destination in each city which has one, and allows tourists to have photographs taken with waxwork versions of their favorite celebrities. The first version of the museum was in London, and can be found on Marylebone Road. It was founded by Madam Tussaud, who inherited her father’s collection of wax models and eventually settled in London.

Different Madame Tussauds museums can be found in many cities around the world, including Las Vegas, Bangkok, and Amsterdam. The original museum is in London, England, and is a popular tourist destination. The different versions of the museum feature different waxworks, often related to the city that they are found in. For instance, the Amsterdam Madame Tussauds features waxworks of famous Dutch celebrities, such as Doutzen Kroes, as well as the ordinary Hollywood stars and world leaders. New wax figures are commonly added to the various collections.

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The most common types of wax figures found in Madame Tussauds are those of famous world leaders or celebrities. These figures attract a lot of attention from tourists because they are allowed to have pictures taken with their favorite celebrities. Generally, the waxworks will be arranged within the museum in groups, such as popular musicians, world leaders, and sports stars. This enables visitors to go to rooms they are interested in and avoid exhibitions filled with people they have no interest in.

Anna Maria Grosholtz, otherwise known as Madam Tussaud, was alive in the late 18th century, during the French revolution. She inherited a large collection of waxworks from her father, which she displayed around Europe before finally settling down in London. The first waxwork she ever made was of the philosopher Voltaire, with others, such as John-Jacques Rousseau, following shortly afterwards. Her life during the revolution was tumultuous, and she began to model famous victims, and even searched through bodies to find decapitated heads. She turned these heads into “death masks,” which became important symbols of the French revolution.

While many prominent world leaders are still displayed within Madame Tussauds, the waxworks are now less likely to be of thinkers like Voltaire. Instead, most of the museums are filled with celebrities such as Kylie Minogue and themed exhibits based on film franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean. The London museum has an area in which two popular characters attempt to explain celebrity culture to aliens.

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