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London’s strangest museum jobs: the Wax Figure Guardian at Madame Tussauds

Posted at 3:15 pm, May 5, 2014 in Fun London
Chris Garguilo ©Rob Greig

Ever wondered who’s in charge of all the weird and wonderful things inside our museums? We go behind the scenes and find out…

THE WAX FIGURE GUARDIAN – Chris Garguilo, Madame Tussauds

‘I’m a colourist, and I have to correct the damage left from the previous day’s guests every morning from 7.30am to 9.30am. There are four different teams: colouring, hair, mould shop and warde.’

‘The most photogenic waxworks are probably the most touched.
The Brad Pitts. The Johnny Depps. And One Direction. Every day we struggle to clean the amount of lipstick that’s been applied the day before – it lands on their cheeks and their collars. We come down with soapy water and give their faces a good wash.’

‘We also find female underwear left in pockets.
But never men’s. I worked at Madame Tussauds in New York when we unveiled ‘Hope’, the famous 9/11 exhibit. But when we revealed One Direction in London, I’ve never seen such an emotional welcoming. We went through so many boxes of man-size tissues.’

‘Is it odd that I sharpen Wolverine’s claws?
After 14 years, I find it very hard to see it as odd anymore. They’ve become like furniture to me.’

‘When I’m bored I speak to the figures.
It’s therapeutic.I just tell them about my morning. Or how awful my night was. They’re great listeners – they don’t ever talk back. Sometimes I’ll be caught answering questions for them.’

Want more celebrity? Tour company Celebrity Planet is the place for all your sleb stalking, er, we mean spotting, fun. It does a Princess Diana-themed traipse through town, as well as sessions dedicated to Harry Potter, ‘Notting Hill’ and Jack the Ripper.

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