On Christmas eve some years ago, I went to Madame Tussauds. Yeah, alright it sounds like the sort of touristy stuff that one would do, and why not? There are so many touristy things an expat can do here that it took 2 years for me to finally get to Madame Tussauds. It’s a neat place and I wish I had more time to visit. Next time, I told myself, as I left. So what does Madame Tussauds have to do with Muhammed Ali ‘The Greatest’, ‘The Champ’, ‘The Louisville Lip’…
Well, Madame Tussauds is a wax museum situated in London. A short tube journey from Green Park. It has a very interesting history. The museum was inherited from Marie Tussaud, a Frenchwoman born as Anna Maria Grosholtz (1761 – 1850) from Strasbourg, France. She learnt how to make wax figures from a famous French doctor who made wax models. Her mother was the doctor’s housekeeper. When the doctor passed away, Marie Tussaud inherited all the wax models. There are Madame Tussauds Museums throughout Europe and America. The number of wax figures at Madame Tussauds is amazing. The collection includes movie stars, royalty, and famous and infamous characters throughout history. More on Madame Tussauds at http://www.madametussauds.com
Now while moving around and admiring the wax figures which also included the likes of George Clooney, imagine my great delight when I saw the wax figure of one of my sports heroes. There, looking ever so authentic was a life-size figure of Muhammed Ali aka The Greatest, The Champ, The Louisville Lip. I couldn’t just walk past without taking a photo. What a find!
When I was at university in PNG in the early ’70s, Muhammed Ali was constantly in the news. I don’t like boxing but Ali made it look like fine artwork. There was a catchy song about him which of course I cant remember the lyrics of except the line “…Muhammed, Muhammed Ali, he floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee…”.
It was a real privilege to be able to take a photo next to the wax figure of this famous person. I guess that’s as close as I’ll ever get to Monsieur Ali. As you can see, I should have stood on a stool. Nevermind. I took the photo and that’s good enough for me.
Visit http://www.ali.com for information on Muhammed Ali – ‘The Greatest’, ‘The Champ’, ‘The Louisville Lip’.
It was a trip worth making and I was really glad I spent part of the afternoon of Christmas Eve at Madame Tussauds.