SCMP Saturday, July 29, 2000

Madame Tussaud's set to open early

JO BOWMAN


The first Madame Tussaud's waxworks museum in Asia could open on the Peak as soon as Monday, promoters said yesterday.

The official opening of the gallery in the Peak Tower will be on August 17, but Madame Tussaud's spokesman Paul Hicks said the public would be invited in as soon as displays were ready, probably early next week.

Technicians were yesterday putting the finishing touches to some of the 100 models, including President Jiang Zemin, the Beatles and Queen Elizabeth. Other famous faces will include late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, Princess Diana, Winston Churchill, Madonna, Sylvester Stallone, Bill Clinton, Mahatma Gandhi, Tina Turner, Luciano Pavarotti, Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger, Pierce Brosnan and Adolf Hitler.

The gallery will be the 175-year-old group's fourth. The others are in London, Las Vegas and Amsterdam, with one also planned for New York.

The $120 million project has the backing of Tourism Commissioner Mike Rowse and the Hong Kong Tourist Association.

Tycoon Li Ka-shing, actress Michelle Yeoh and action star Jackie Chan are among the locals who agreed to pose, but their sculptures are not expected to be ready when the museum opens.

The gallery will have seven halls: a movie world, VIP room, celebrity garden party, sporting greats room, chamber of horrors, music legends room and a behind-the-scenes hall showing how the sculptures are made.

The entrance fee will be $75 for adults and $50 for children.