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Friday, August 10, 2007

Aiswarya Rai's Model Coming to Madame Tussauds in New York

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A wax model of actress Aiswarya Rai, the global face of Indian film industry, will open to public view at Madame Tussauds wax museum in Time Square here on Aug 15, when India celebrates 60th year of independence.

'The unveiling ceremony will feature a 15-minute performance by Bollywood dance group from the city,' Rosemary Preta, director of marketing of the museum, told IANS.

The museum has scheduled the ceremony on India 's Independence Day, which was also demanded by her fans here, Preta said. 'Aiswarya Rai, a former Miss World, is internationally known now.'

Aiswarya Rai's model will be placed in the Opening Night Party section of the museum.

The museum has borrowed the model for six weeks from the parent Madame Tussauds in London. The life-like sari-clad waxwork was unveiled there in 2004, timed with the release of Aiswarya Rai's first international film, 'Bride and Prejudice', directed by London-based Gurinder Chadha. Aiswarya Rai was present at the London unveiling, but now married to Bollywood star, Abhishek Bachchan, Aiswarya Rai is not able to come to New York for this landmark event in her life.

Aiswarya Rai has also had the most success from Indian actors making forays in Hollywood. Her big ticket Hollywood film is 'The Last Legion', in which she gets third billing after Colin Firth and Ben Kingsley. The epic look period film is releasing in the US on Aug 17.

The only other Indian film personalities immortalised at Madame Tussauds in London are Aiswarya Rai's father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, both from Bollywood, and Tamil superstar Rajnikanth. Other Indian attractions at the museum are Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

Now Aiswarya Rai has beaten them all by becoming the first Indian to feature at the New York museum.

The museum in Manhattan attracts a million visitors a year and has become a major tourist attraction in the city since its opening in 2000.

Madame Tussauds commemorates the world's most popular personalities by creating strikingly similar wax statues.

Set up by Frenchwoman Marie Tussauds in London in 1835, the world famous museum now has branches in Amsterdam, Las Vegas, Hong Kong and Shanghai, besides New York, with Washington D.C. to be added to the list in October this year.

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