Who does not know Madame Tussaud and her three hundred wax personalities? Royal family, Hollywood stars, legendary sportsmen or politicians, they are all represented in this museum, among the most famous of London, located on Marylebone Road, near Regent’s Park.
Founded in 1835 by Marie Tussaud who is sculptor on French wax who narrowly escaped beheading during the Revolution of 1789 and then exiled in London a few years later, the museum has gradually gained importance. It moved to its current location in 1884, and now encompasses the adjoining planetarium where is broadcast a show designed by Aardman Animation Studios. Of course the main attraction of the museum are the more than life-like statues of many celebrities as diverse as Brad Pitt, the Beatles, Hitler, Napoleon, Britney Spears, David Beckham, the Queen of England or E.T.
Madame Tussaud museum also offers an animation called « Spirit of London »: installed in the replica of a London taxi, we travel through the history of the city, with great support of sounds, lights and smells. The Chamber of Horrors revives the French Revolution, and the history of punishments in general, sensitive souls abstain!
There are other Madame Tussaud museums in the world, including Sydney, Tokyo, Bangkok, Wuhan, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Hollywood, New York, Las Vegas, Washington, Berlin, Amsterdam and Blackpool.
A real tourist attraction
The museum was moved in 1884 to its current location on Marylebone Road.
In 1925, a fire destroyed many figurines but the molds had been spared and many portraits of historical figures were back. In 1926, Tussaud’s Group was founded to manage the Madame Tussaud museum.
The wax museum became important and became a major London tourist attraction, encompassing the London Planetarium, located in the west wing of the building.
Over the years the museum has opened several other sites outside London including Amsterdam, Las Vegas, New York, Hong Kong and Copenhagen. The museums took the name of Madame Tussauds (without apostrophe) and controlled by the Tussauds Group.
In 1978, the Tussauds group, whose only possessions were the Madame Tussauds museums, was bought by S. Pearson and Son, which later became Pearson PLC. Various acquisitions were made until the purchase of Alton Towers Park in 1990.
In 2005, the investment fund Dubai International Capital bought the Tussauds Group for $ 1.5 billion from Charterhouse Capital Partners (£ 800 million).
In 2006, the Tussauds group announced that the London Museum would expand by transforming the adjoining planetarium into an auditorium featuring a show designed by the Aardman Animations studio.
In March 2007, the group was bought for £ 1 billion by Merlin Entertainments, majority owned by the Blackstone Group investment fund. The same month, the London Museum hosts the effigy of actor Daniel Radcliffe, who becomes at 18 the youngest artist to have his wax statue at Madame Tussauds.