Musee Grevin Waxwork Museum in Paris started over 130 years ago

The Musee Grevin is a waxwork museum which opened in 1882, and it can be an amazing place to visit famous people which are now in their wax form, some dating from many years ago.

At the museum there are various different sections within this museum in Paris, some of which include some of the more renowned wax pieces including that of Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Michael Jackson and much more, which are all surrounded by amazing decor around, which in itself is amazing, being put in place well over one hundred years ago.

One section is dedicated to history of France from the middle ages through to the 19th century, which goes through the Renaissance period and the Second empire, which highlights numerous people throughout history, including Joan of Arc and King Louis XIV with his court at Chateau de Versailles.

The museum also offers to highlight numerous celebrities in what could be classed as a “natural habitat”. Many of them being seen in their dressing rooms before a show, within a Paris brasserie and many more scenarios. All of which can include people such as Luciano Pavarotti, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Naomi Campbell and many more.

The Tout Paris Theatre is another display which provides many people all in evening dress, including that of Celine Dion and Elton John and numerous other well known stars, actors and actresses.

Another section is known as the Snapshots of the 20th Century which takes a look into the past to look to some of the major events which had taken place throughout the world, including, but not being limited to the falling of the Berlin Wall, first steps on the moon as well as some unforgettable people such as Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix and Brigitte Bardot.

As with any museum there are always new exhibits coming in yearly, some of the more recent ones at the Musee Grevin can include works made of Barack Obama, George Clooney, Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz. But yet one of the more intriguing yet unusual works is a scene from the movie Ice Age, showing the ever lovable and prehistoric squirrel named Scrat who is trying to get to his nut which he always loses.

Not forgetting there is even more you can find out with a “behind the scenes” on how waxworks are made. With children and parents being welcome to go on a discovery tour circuit to witness some of the materials used, and even allowed to touch and interact with some of the components used making it a hand on and interesting visit to understand and also appreciate the hard work and precision which goes into creating these magnificent wax works.

The Musee Grevin has several full time sculptors which work for the museum, allowing to create as many and high-quality wax figures as possible. Taking castings, videos, 3D models and sometimes only having to work off of sketches and paintings the sculptors create realistic and fantastic sculptures.

But that is not all, each sculpture has a whole process to be created, from the hair which is placed individually into it to make it look and act both life like, some models even having over 500,000 individual hairs, the teeth which are created by a dental specialist. All the while the face is created with oil paints, highlighting everything from a faint scar to a beauty spot and even shadows around the eyes. Which the eyes themselves are made of glass with medical grade precision, most times with the celebrity present to preserve the closest colour possible.

Yet the origin of the museum in itself is most fascinating. Back in the late 19th century a journalist and founder of the daily newspaper Le Gaulois named Arthur Meyer wanted some figures to be able to put a face to a famous name, which is something that was very rarely seen by the public unless there was a caricature or a sketch done for the specific person in mind. Thus he wanted to display representations of famous celebrities which were appearing on his newspaper.

With that in mind, in 1881 Meyer discussed this with a man by the name of Alfred Grevin, who was both a sculptor, cartoonist and designer of theatrical costumes whom had often worked beside Meyer to create sketches for his paper. And after running his idea by the other Grevin eagerly agreed to help get the project up and going.

In fact Grevin became so involved with the idea that the place was named after him, which is now why the Musee Grevin now has its name. Opening its doors at first to the public on the 5th June 1882, it quickly became an overnight success.

Only a year later a distinguished investor named Gabriel Thomas started backing the museum, which was a huge leap, allowing it to have more of a rapid expansion compared to before.

Gabriel Thomas was also the reason why the museum gained many fantastic decors, including the Grevin Theatre with many celebrities in evening dress, and also the Palais des Mirages, or Hall of Mirrors with both a sound and light show which was created for the 1900 Universal Exhibition which was later moved to the Musee Grevin in 1906.

And even to this day, well over a century later, the museum is still amazing people even after major renovations in 2006, which has landed the museum a most well deserved spot on the list of historical monuments in Paris.

And yet not to forget the Cafe Grevin which back with the original founders of the museum had an idea to create a cafe next to the museum. And in the February of 2011 that dream and idea became reality, with the Cafe Grevin opening its doors.

The cafe itself is a work of art with a domed glass ceiling in one area, red velvet sofas and chairs along with mirrors and spotlights around it, created a welcoming atmosphere while you have either a snack after visiting the amazing museum or even choose form one of their A la carte options to give even more of a diverse ending to an amazing day, while on Holiday in Paris.