Gettysburg’s American Civil War Wax Museum Is For Sale

Civil WarA favorite destination in America’s most famous Civil War battlefield faces an uncertain future as its owners are retiring and putting the building up for sale.

The American Civil War Wax Museum at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was opened in 1962 and is selling for $1.7 million, the Evening Sun reports. Being a popular tourist attraction, the current owners say they are confident someone will buy it and keep it open.

The museum features more than 300 life-sized wax figures like these of Confederate Generals Joseph Johnston and Robert E. Lee shown here courtesy Flickr user cliff1066. Many of the figures are arranged into scenes of important moments in the Civil War.

In addition to the museum and a large gift shop, visitors can see reenactors demonstrating Civil War-era weapons and equipment most weekends from April through October.

Remarkably, the museum was founded by a Polish immigrant named C.M. Uberman, who moved to the United States shortly after World War II. This demonstrates the fascination this era of American history has for people all around the world. Here in Spain, history buffs ask me about the Civil War more than all other periods of American history combined. Hopefully if they make it to Gettysburg they’ll find the American Civil War Wax Museum alive and well.

Lady Gaga now a waxwork model at eight Madame Tussauds museums

Lady Gaga, lady gagaAh, Lady Gaga, what would we do without your telephone hats and nude suits?

Now the famous wax museum Madame Tussauds has unveiled Lady Gaga models at eight of their branches: London, New York, Las Vegas, Hollywood, Amsterdam, Berlin, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

The figure at the London branch has the crazy suit shown here: a telephone hat designed by Philip Treacy and a midnight-blue Armani suit. Keeping up with Amsterdam’s debauched reputation, the museum there has a Lady gaga in a nude body suit, white jacket, and a rather phallic-looking purple hairdo. The other outfits are equally outrageous.

Hopefully her penchant for crazy clothes will continue, but not so much that she’ll have to be stripped by flight attendants like she was in March.

[Photo courtesy Madame Tussauds]

Thailand Hitler billboard draws controversy

A Hitler billboard in Thailand promoting a local wax museum has locals and foreign governments up in arms. The billboard campaign, which features photos of famous dead people, included a photo of Hitler making the infamous Nazi salute along with the tagline “Hitler is not dead.” The ad was part of a promotion for Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks, a wax museum based in Pattaya.

Since the billboard’s unveiling two weeks ago it has caused a firestorm of complaints, prompting museum officials to have it covered and to apologize for the offense. Both the German and Israeli embassies in Thailand filed formal complaints. Wax museum director Somporn Naksuetrong has emphasized the campaign was not meant to glorify the Nazi leader.

Not surprisingly, this isn’t the first Adolf Hitler wax museum incident to draw controversy. In 2008 a German man rushed into the new Madame Tussaud’s in Berlin, ripping the head off the museum’s Hitler figurine and shouting “Never war again!”

The use of Hitler’s likeness, whether as a wax dummy or in advertising, never fails to attract criticism. But that hasn’t stopped museums and brands from capitalizing on Hitler to draw attention, a decision that almost always ends poorly. Anyone hoping to draw tourist dollars from Nazi imagery in the future would do well to keep this in mind.

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Dublin’s Wax Museum Vandalized; Teletubbies go Missing, Madonna Loses Limbs

I’ve never really understood the appeal of wax museums, but apparently there are many tourists in this world who enjoy gazing upon wax replicas of history’s villains, heroes, and stars.

That being said, the National Wax Museum in Dublin was recently shut down to make room for a hotel. Its relocation has been delayed due, in part, to city officials “citing the wax museum’s lack of cultural merit.”

Ouch.

But that’s not all. Dublin’s array of wax figures recently suffered further indignation when the warehouse in which they were being stored was broken into and used as a venue for an underground rave party. The ravers were not kind to the wax figures. According to a recent AP report, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Charles de Gaulle and Winston Churchill were all stripped naked, Madonna’s limbs were broken off, and The Edge lost his guitar.

Other wax replicas went missing altogether, including Hannibal Lecter, Bob the Builder, Gollum, and the entire Teletubbies quartet.

I’m sorry, but the thought of some stoned Irish kids, giggling and tripping over themselves as they spirited Hannibal Lecter through the dark streets of Dublin really makes me laugh.