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| Thursday, November 15, 2007

ANDY Lau has been groped, kissed and molested by strangers. Fret not, for it's not the Hong Kong Heavenly King who has been harassed, but his wax figure at the Madame Tussauds Hong Kong museum.

Reports from Hong Kong quoting a member of the maintenance staff, said enamoured female fans have leaned so closely on Andy's figure for photographs that they leave behind lipstick marks. 'We have to change Andy's white shirt regularly. The most serious was having to change the shirt twice a week,' said the worker.

The 46-year-old's figure counts as one of the most popular among the over-100 figures at the museum. Other popular wax figures at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong include girl group Twins and British soccer star David Beckham. His figure has been on display at Madame Tussauds Hong Kong since 2001, a year after the museum opened at The Peak Tower.

It underwent a makeover two years ago and the new figure has a silicon heart that beats. Curious visitors would therefore put their hands into his shirt to feel the simulated heartbeat and leave behind palm prints on his chest. Some cheeky visitors would even unzip the trousers.
Andy's figure is currently undergoing maintenance in the Hong Kong museum apparently because of the fans. But it's still on display at the Shanghai museum which opened last year.

Mr Edward Fuller, general manager for Madame Tussauds Hong Kong and Shanghai, told The New Paper that visitors can get a little 'over-excited when they get up close to Andy's wax figure'. A maintenance and customer service team is on hand to ensure that the wax figures are well-preserved and maintained. Maintenance is performed every day and can range from dusting suit jackets, touching up on make-up, re-styling hair, washing and ironing clothing, to quick replacement of fingers and hands.

Each figure, made from wax and fibre-glass, costs more than HK$1 million ($190,000) to create.
The interaction from visitors are expected, says the museum. Hence, there are no velvet ropes or barricades cordoning off the figures. Said Mr Fuller: 'Given the fun and interactive element, we do not impose strict museum-like rules. We only ask that each guest respect our wax figures like they would if they were to meet their idol in person.'

Most times, visitors are just happy with taking photographs or mimicking the poses of the figures. But sometimes fans would hug and kiss the figures, a spokesman told Shanghai's Oriental Morning Post recently.

news from: The New Paper