GRÉVIN MUSEUM HOURS
MONDAY TO FRIDAY : from 10 am to 6.30 pm
WEEKENDS, PUBLIC HOLIDAYS AND SCHOOL HOLIDAYS : from 10 am to 7 pm
A few words about the Grévin Museum
Fifty years after Madame Tussaud exhibited her first waxworks in London, the Grévin Museum opened its doors on Boulevard Montmartre, at the same address it still proudly occupies. Since that opening day in 1882, some 2,000 well known people have been exhibited at this renowned Parisian institution - in wax, rather than in person! This is a place that brings together great names of the past such as Gandhi, Einstein and de Gaulle with celebrities of our time, such as the actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
It was a journalist called Arthur Meyer who first had the idea that Parisians and visitors to the city might like to look at celebrities up close, personal and immortalised in wax. At the time there were but a few photographs available of famous people - and often the general public would struggle to attach a face to a well-known name. Meyer turned to the established artist and sculptor Alfred Grévin, after whom the museum is named, to become its first artistic director. It was Grévin himself who fashioned the first wax figures.
The Grévin Museum was an instant success from the day that it opened up on Boulevard Montmartre, which was then as it is today one of Paris's finest addresses. Meyer was right in his hunch, because it turned out that there was a real thirst - a craze you might even call it - among the public to see these ultra-realistic wax sculptures of some of the world's greatest figures.
Early success led the Grévin Museum to expand rapidly. In 1900, to coincide with the Paris World's Fair of that year, a theatre was added along with a spectacular display of mirrors which used scientific principles to play games with both light and perspective. This Hall of Mirrors continues to delight both young and old to this day.
At the Grévin Museum you can also see scenes setting out the most dramatic moments in French history in a way that brings these important moments to life right in front of your eyes. There's the assassination of Marat during the French Revolution, for instance and even a vivid re-enactment of the Massacre of St Bartholomew from August 24, 1572.
It's not only French history that you'll see, of course. Every year an additional four French or international personalities are selected to be included in the museum's expanding displays. These may be writers, actors, athletes or personalities from the world of culture. Politicians are included, too.
Did you know?
It is no easy feat for someone, however famous, to become a Grévin Museum waxwork. First there's the demanding process of a jury selection to get through - and the jury meets just twice a year. After that the process becomes, if anything, even more exacting. There's a complicated series of measurements to be taken and some 600 photographs will be needed to ensure the most faithful reproduction possible. Hairs are planted one by one onto the chosen one's wax skull. To make things even more realistic, plaster casts are taken of each hand so that even the smallest vein will be reproduced. At the Grévin Museum perfection is what counts!