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Hollywood stars have arrived in wax

in Culture

Madame Tussauds opens its first Prague exhibit, selfies encouraged

You can pose with George Clooney, who has done the trick every secondary school boy tries: sitting on a sofa with his arm out, hoping a pretty woman falls into his embrace. The power couple of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are in formal wear as if on the red carpet outside a premiere. They are ripe for photobombing.

Madame Tussauds Prague Exhibition
When: April 11 to October 2014
Where: Wax Museum Prague
Celetná 6, Prague 1
www.waxmuseumprague.cz
www.madametussauds.com/prague

Nicole Kidman is standing alone, you can try your best pick-up lines, but she clearly thinks you are boring and won’t respond.

Quentin Tarantino is setting up a shot, a bit lost in his own thoughts. You can stand next to him and point in the distance, as if you are helping him imagine the scene.

E.T. is wrapped up in basket on a bicycle, and you can sit in the bike seat in front of a moon background.

Bruce Willis is in the window, looking a bit scruffy and ready for action. You can tryout for wingman in his next buddy film, but be prepared to be shot in the first scene to provide motivation. If action isn’t your thing, Lady Gaga is near a video monitor looking for a duet partner. Interaction to make a good picture is encouraged.

The figures are on loan from Madame Tussauds Attractions and will be on display at Wax Museum Prague for at least six months. It is the first project by the global entertainment company in Central and Eastern Europe. “These are our most popular stars. We do audience measurements at each Madame Tussauds and these always score among the highest,” Richard Jones, global external relations manager for Madame Tussauds Attractions, told the Prague Post.

The individual characters come from exhibits around the world. E.T., for example, comes from New York and Nicole Kidman came from Japan.

The exhibition, called Madame Tussauds Prague, is part of what will hopefully be a long-term cooperation where figures will be changed from time to time to keep the exhibit fresh. Prague was chosen for the exhibit because it already attracts stars. “Prague is the Hollywood of Europe. It’s the best place for the exhibit,” Jones said.

Interaction is part of the brand concept for Madame Tussauds. Visitors can almost get the feel of meeting someone. But it causes some wear and tear. “Taking care of the figures is a full-time job,” Jones said. “The local staff will check the figures every day and do minor things like fix the hair or dust off the face, just like you do for yourself every morning.”

An expert from Vienna or Berlin will come once a week to do any needed repairs. “Women tend to kiss Brad Pitt a lot,” Jones said. That requires his cheek to be constantly recolored to cover the lipstick traces. “People do things like checking to see if the watches are real or putting wedding rings on the fingers,” Jones said. All these things lead to minor damage.

Madame Tussauds’ senior sculptor Dave Gardner was also in Prague for the press preview. He said that he had worked on all of the figures, but not alone. “It takes a team of 20 people to make each figure,” he said. When possible, the subjects come in for a sitting where hundreds of measurements are made to ensure accuracy. Each figure costs £150,000 and takes four months to create.

Madame Tussauds has been creating wax figures of the biggest personalities of the day for more than 200 years. There are now 15 Madame Tussauds attractions around the globe and in addition to the special temporary exhibition in Prague three more new attractions are scheduled to open in 2014.

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