From ancient times wax was used for various purposes — for mummy preservation or as a protecting for oil paintings and frescoes. The Romans made wax moulds of dead people's faces. The portraits of friends and relatives were also made of wax. In the Middle Ages the wax sculptures were often located in Roman and Gothic churches and chapels.
The first wax figures cabinet appeared in Paris in 1776, when doctor Courtier arranged a small museum using his private collections.
The museum was so successful that this somehow later gave an impulse to the foundation of the most famous wax figure museum in the world, Museum of Madame Tussaud in London. Marie Grossholtz, later known as Madame Tussaud, first worked as an apprentice in Courtier's studio.
Later Tussaud created her own wax figure gallery. She became famous after arranging a wax composition The Death of the Tyrant that recreated the execution of Robespierre. Later Tussaud and her husband were forced to leave Paris and settled down in London. They traveled from one trade fair to another with their exposition until they gained enough money to open their own private museum in 1835, which enriched the list of London's finest places of interest.
Nowadays the technology of creation of wax figures hasn't practically changed. But a lot of modern technical means like voice and sound accompaniment modeling, animated backgrounds are used to reinforce the feeling of authenticity.
The idea to establish a museum of such kind in Kiev appeared after its founders familiarized with exposition of famous London museum branch in Amsterdam. After this they questioned themselves — if there are such museums in Moscow and Saint Petersburg why not to create one in the capital of Ukraine. But they've had to face a lot of problems and difficulties, because in Ukraine there were no experienced specialists in waxwork at that time. Also there were no proper specialists in decorative work. So it took three years to arrange the 20 figures exposition, which became the basis of museum's collection. It was first presented to public on the 12th January, 2000.
Nowadays the exposition consists of more than 60 figures and is constantly growing. The museum, one of the best of such kind in Eastern Europe, is by right considered to be one of the most interesting places in Kiev.
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