Madame Tussauds wax museum franchise opens near Old Town Square

The former Wax Museum Prague on Celetná has been refurbished into the first franchise of the Madame Tussauds brand

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 15.07.2019 16:17:27 (updated on 15.07.2019) Reading time: 3 minutes

World famous wax museum brand Madame Tussauds has opened a branch in Prague near Old Town Square. Visitors can see some 40 figures, and the number should grow.

Museum Madame
Tussauds Prague is the first branch of the London-based museum in
Central and Eastern Europe.

There are now 24
branches worldwide, but the business model of the Prague one is
different, as it is a franchise held by the Czech company Wax Museum
Prague. It is the first Madame Tussauds branch to be run as a

The former Wax
Museum Prague at Celetná 6 underwent a multi-million euro renovation
to bring it up the standards of the Madame Tussauds’ brand, which
is run by global firm Merlin Entertainments

Stars on display
include Freddie Mercury, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Tom Cruise,
Vin Diesel, Jim Carrey, Jean-Paul Belmondo, David Beckam and Bruce
Willis. For younger visitors there’s pop singers Rihanna and Justin
Bieber as well as Twilight star Taylor Lautner.

These are
complemented by local historical figures from the original wax museum
like Václav Havel, Franz Kafka, Alfons Mucha, Tomáš Garrigue
Masaryk and Charles IV.

Most of the figures
are set up so people can interact with them to to take photos,
looking like they actually met. George Clooney, for example, is at a
table with a chair next to him that people can sit in.

madame taussads 03
Jim Carrey beckons people to the director’s chair in the museum window. via Raymond Johnston

Staff has to check the figures daily for damage from fans, and touch up the makeup and costume details. One rare occasions, more extensive repairs have to be made.

The figures from
Madame Tussauds are quite detailed. For example, four people worked
for six months on the figure of Lady Gaga.

Several figures are
currently being made, and will be added to the displays when they are
finished. These include Karel Gott, Miloš Forman, Jan Saudek and
Andy Warhol.

The Czech operators
had to attend training courses from Merlin Entertainments. “Madame
Tussauds is a world-class brand on every continent and virtually
everyone knows it. Naturally, both the precise design of the exhibits
and the interior of the museum correspond to this brand,” Wax
Museum Prague founder Zdeněk Kočík said.

The project was
announced in May. “We are delighted to be launching our first
Madame Tussauds franchise in Prague, with an experienced local
partner. … Merlin will be looking at other Madame Tussauds
franchise opportunities around the globe, in markets where the brand
is not already present. Future partners are already being
identified,” Chris Scurrah, franchise director of Merlin
Entertainments, said at the time.

Cooperation between
Wax Museum Prague and Merlin Entertainments, owner of the Madame
Tussauds brand, to April 2014 when one floor of the museum hosted a
small display of wax figures of Hollywood stars as a test to see if
they would be popular.

Wax Museum Prague
opened March 29, 1997. It got competition on the same Old Town street
when French-based wax museum Grévin opened a branch. It closed after
four years, but then reopened as Chocotopia – Wax Museum of Legends
by Grévin, combining the history of high-end chocolate with the wax

Madame Tussauds has
been creating wax figures of the biggest personalities of the day for
more than 200 years. Marie Tussaud traveled Europe with her
collection of wax figures starting in 1794. She opened her first
permanent museum in London in 1835.

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