Madame Tussauds, London
Madame Tussauds is a museum and tourist attraction known for creating life size wax models of celebrities. Set up by wax sculptor Marie Tussaud (see below) it is the first Madame Tussauds.
This landmark building contains offices, workshops on the upper floors and exhibition and retail units on the ground floor fronting Marylebone Road. The Victorian façade is comprised primarily of brickwork with stucco dressings and mouldings.
During the extensive renovation in 2012/2013, KEIM Restauro Grund and KEIM Restauro Top were used to repair the stonework details. KEIM Restauro Grund was used for deep repairs and KEIM Restauro Top colour matched for the finishing repair, both providing a durable and long life stone repair congenial to the surrounding stone.
The external façade was completely redecorated using KEIM Soldalit-ME. As well as the high performance, longevity and breathability of the KEIM finish, KEIM Soldalit-ME will also provide enhanced resistance to dirt and algae growth. Photocatalytic additives in the paint help to remove Nitrogen Dioxide pollution (NOx) from the many thousands of vehicles passing by along the Marylebone Road.
Marie Tussaud – Tussaud created her first wax sculpture, of Voltaire, in 1777. Other famous people she modelled at that time included Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin. In 1802 she went to London, to exhibit her work at the Lyceum Theatre. As a result of the Napoleonic Wars, she was unable to return to France, so she travelled throughout Great Britain and Ireland exhibiting her collection. By 1835 Marie had settled down in Baker Street, London, and opened a museum.
Many famous people were added to the exhibition over the years, including Horatio Nelson, and Sir Walter Scott. Some of the sculptures done by Marie Tussaud herself still exist. The gallery originally contained some 400 different figures, but fire damage in 1925, coupled with German bombs in 1941, rendered most of these older models defunct. In 1842, she made a self-portrait which is now on display at the entrance of her museum. She died in her sleep on 15 April 1850.
By 1883 the restricted space and rising cost of the Baker Street site prompted her grandson (Joseph Randall) to commission the building at its current location on Marylebone Road. The new exhibition galleries were opened on 14 July 1884.