Turkey's first Madame Tussauds wax museum to open doors in December in Istanbul

ANADOLU AGENCY
ISTANBUL
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The 250-year-old brand will establish a new address in Istanbul where visitors can see, feel and be photographed with lifelike wax sculpture of their favorite celebrities
The 250-year-old brand will establish a new address in Istanbul where visitors can see, feel and be photographed with lifelike wax sculpture of their favorite celebrities

Turkey's first Madame Tussauds wax museum will open in December this year.

The museum will boast 60 local and international wax figures from the worlds of politics, sports and culture, said the organizer on Tuesday.

Speaking at a news conference in Istanbul, Sarper Hilmi Suner, general manager of Madame Tussauds Istanbul, said that the wax figures will include the likes of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish Republic, Mazhar Fuat Özkan, one of Turkey's oldest pop bands, Turkey's legendary music idol Zeki Müren and American information technology entrepreneur Steve Jobs.

The world's 21st Madame Tussauds museum will also feature a wax figure of Mevlana Rumi, a 13th-century poet-philosopher.

A direct 22nd generation descendant of the mystic was used as a model, Suner said.

Mimar Sinan, the Ottoman Empire's most renowned architect, will also have his own wax figure.

The museum will be located on Istanbul's teeming Istiklal Street in the newly renovated Grand Pera building's 2,000-square-meter area, encompassing two floors.

Speaking to Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency (AA), Marcel Kloos, director of New Openings Europe and Emerging Markets and British company Merlin Entertainments, the owner of the Madame Tusseauds brand, did not want to give an exact amount of the investment.

"We spent some millions like we do with every attraction," he said. "It is below 10 million pounds [$14,62 million]."

"We think it [Istanbul] is a perfect fit because it is an up and coming city. It is young, it is vibrant," he said.

Kloos said that his favorite wax figure was Atatürk:

"Probably for Istanbul, I think Atatürk is relevant, we have a great figure of him and I think that's why he is becoming one of my favorites," he said.

Wax figures of Barcelona star Lionel Messi and pop idol Madonna were displayed before the press at today's event.

Merlin Entertainments already operate Sea Life and LEGOLAND in Istanbul. The company runs 110 attractions in 23 countries across four continents, according to its official website.

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