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Sealed in wax

Marie Tussaud’s waxwork museum has given rise to a billion dollar global franchise. What’s the secret of its success?

By Hephzibah Anderson   January 2012

Alfred Hitchcock (Madame Tussauds London)

© Artur Andrzej

Madame Tussauds is like a safari, only it’s celebrity you’re stalking, and about halfway through you begin to feel more hunted than hunter. You are, after all, the only thing moving, unless you count the eyes that flick mechanically back and forth on the French revolutionary waxwork. And the revolutionary is hidden many, many famous faces away—past Brangelina, past Harry and Wills, past JFK and MLK—in a far-off “zone” devoted to the place’s own history.

But it is precisely the institution’s…

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