Wax museum in London opens its 'Time 100' millennium show

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LONDON -- Madame Tussaud's Wax Exhibition, London's No. 1 tourist attraction, already has a millennium display on view. The facility opened "Time 100," an exhibition of wax figures depicting the most influential people of the century.

Madame Tussaud's It was created in conjunction with Time magazine's 100 People of the Century project, in which the publication selects important 20th century individuals in five categories, a spokeswoman for the museum said.

Categories are Artists and Entertainers; Leaders and Revolutionaries; Builders and Titans; Scientists and Thinkers, and Heroes and Inspirations. The Person of the Century will be announced in December.

The new exhibit at Madame Tussaud's features some individuals already named by the magazine, including Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, the Beatles, Oprah Winfrey and Charlie Chaplin.

Madame Tussaud's draws about 2.7 million tourists each year; 80% are overseas visitors.

The museum had its roots in Paris in 1770, when its founder Madame Tussaud learned to create wax likenesses under the direction of her mentor, Philippe Curtius. During the French revolution, she reportedly was forced to prove her allegiance by making death masks of executed aristocrats.

The museum moved to its present location, on Marylebone Road, in 1884. Visitors should use the Baker Street underground station. Recent additions include wax figures of David Copperfield, the character in Charles Dickens' classic novel of the same name, and actor Brad Pitt.

The wax museum has several galleries, each focusing on different figures. They include: sporting legends; the history of the museum; Hollywood legends and superstars; the grand hall, which has figures of politicians, statesmen and artists; the chamber of horrors, and the spirit of London, which chronicles the history of the city.

Admission to the museum costs about $16 for adults, $12 for seniors over age 60 and $10 for children under 6. The London Planetarium is located next door to the wax museum. Combination tickets to both facilities are available.

A combination ticket to the museum and planetarium costs about $20 per adult. Both facilities are open daily, starting at 9:30 a.m. on weekends and 10 a.m. on weekdays. Last admission is at 5:30 p.m.

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