FIDEL CASTRO at Madame Tussaud's
London, England, United Kingdom

"Fidel Castro, the president of Cuba has been immortalized in London. A wax figure of the Cuban leader is now standing among kings and pop stars at Madame Tussaud's.

The ambassador of Cuba unveiled the wax figure to celebrate the president's 73rd birthday. Fidel Castro overlooks the crowds in London. But he's not there to make one of his long speeches. This Castro is made of wax - the latest addition to Madame Tussaud's wax works museum. The wax figure was unveiled by the Cuban ambassador who was there with his wife. The wax figure wears the well known green army fatigues - donated by Fidel Castro himself. The fatigues and boots were brought to London by the sculptor, Steve Swales. Swales visited Havana last year to take the hundreds of measurements needed for the wax copy of the old revolutionary. As for the real Castro, he was reported to have welcomed his wax incarnation, saying, "It has been for me a great honour, much more than I deserve." After six months of sculpting the wax Fidel Castro is expected to be seen by some 2.6 (m) million tourists who visit the famed wax museum every year. The wax likeness took six months to complete and cost around 30,000 U-S dollars. Madame Tussaud's said that Castro was chosen after recent media coverage and his long presidency. The wax museum says that most national leaders were included among the wax figures to appeal to the numbers of tourists who visit the museum."

* from AP ARCHIVE 08/13/1999 *

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