Wax Museum - Old Goa's new attraction

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Panaji, Jul 6 (UNI) Old Goa, dotted with several world heritage monuments including churches of the colonial Portuguese era, has got another international tourist attraction - ''Wax Museum''.

The museum was formally inaugurated yesterday by former Minister Pandurang Madkaikar.

Encouraged by the tremendous success of his ''Wax World'' project in lush green Ooty in Nilgiris of Tamilnadu, an IT engineer-cum-businessman Shreeji Bhaskaran has initiated the second project to be placed in Goa.

Similar to the famed Madam Tussaud's gallery in London, the Art Gallery and Museum here displays life size look-alike wax statues of famous people, including the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, spiritual leaders Adi Shankaracharya, Rajneesh Osho, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and former President and Philosopher S Radha Krishna.

Religious leaders like Rama Krishna Parama Hansa, his disciple Swamy Vivekananda, Sharada Devi, Lord Jesus Christ along with his 12 disciples sitting at the Last Supper were featured in the museum.

Mr Shrijee is known for making the wax statue of former President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, who himself unveiled his statue in January 2004 in Bangalore.

The Last Supper features the statues each of 22 feet in length using 500 kg of wax. It was kept for public viewing for ten months at the art gallery of the St Cathedral Church in Old Goa earlier.

It was unveiled by His Eminence Cardinal Paul Paupard, the President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican, at a ceremony in Goa on November 20, 2006 in presence of Archbishop of Goa and Daman Dr Filip Neri.

''Making statues with wax is not an easy task. It involves computerised digital imaging technique combined with traditional and conventional sculpting and molding methodologies, the sculptor Mr Shreeji said.

The cost of making a wax statue varies between Rs 3 lakh to Rs 15 lakh, besides consuming 50 KG of wax and at least four to 16 week's duration.

The wax used is paraffin with some additives. Colour is added to the wax, when in molten state and cosmetic colouring applied at the final stage.

While eyes and teeth are artificial, the hair used may be natural or synthetic and clothes are tailor made to match the fabric and style, he said.

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