Trump Wax Figure Is Stripped After Being Scratched and Punched
The figure at Louis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax in San Antonio needed to be repaired because it was so badly damaged.
President Donald J. Trump often complained of being beaten and assaulted while in office, but nothing compared to the physical abuse a wax statue of the former president recently received at a Texas attraction.
Mr. Trump’s wax figure had been punched and scratched so often recently that it was taken down from the attraction, Louis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax in San Antonio, for repairs this week.
The attack was not the first time a wax likeness of a president or celebrity was tampered with, revealing a long history of such incidents.
According to Suzanne Smagala-Potts, a spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment, the company that runs the San Antonio location and a variety of other wax and oddity attractions around the world, wax statues of politicians, including former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, have been temporarily removed from display after being damaged or vandalized.
“Sometimes it’s on purpose. Ms. Smagala-Potts clarified that it isn’t always the case. “Some people may have a stronger attachment to a politician than to a celebrity.”
A protester beheaded a wax statue of Adolf Hitler at a Madame Tussauds museum in Berlin in 2008. The wax Hitler was returned to the museum after being restored, behind glass windows and guarded by two guards.
According to The Associated Press, a wax statue of Diddy, the rapper, was similarly disfigured in 2019 at Madame Tussauds in New York City after someone moved the sculpture, severing its head. While both Madame Tussauds and Louis Tussauds have the same name, they are owned by separate companies.
Ms. Smagala-Potts said she didn’t know whether guards would be posted near Mr. Trump’s wax figure after it was fixed at the San Antonio venue.
During last year’s election, assaults on Mr. Trump’s wax figure became more popular. The jabs and scratches persisted even after the statue was moved to the lobby, where attendants could see it, according to The San Antonio Express-News, which covered the removal of the figure.
Mr. Trump’s image was on show in a city that went blue in the last election and in a state that is known for being a Republican stronghold.
Ms. Smagala-Potts said the figure, which wore the former president’s trademark red tie and cuff links, was part of a revolving exhibit at the museum. A wax figure of Vice President Joe Biden is also being made.
Bad news coverage could result in a figure being put in a less-than-ideal role or being removed from a wax figure attraction.
In 2017, after Matt Lauer, the former host of the “Today” show, was accused of sexual assault, his wax figure was pulled from Madame Tussauds in New York City. A wax statue, on the other hand, could be relocated to a more prominent position as a result of an actor’s recent Oscar win.
The San Antonio location has more than 200 life-size figures on show for a $24.99 admission fee. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and actor Dwayne Johnson, best known as the Rock, are among those eligible for tourists to take selfies with.
Ms. Smagala-Potts said that the company’s locations had different rules on touching the sculptures, but that visitors were allowed to take pictures with them. Harm occurs often as a result of “wear and tear” in places where selfies are allowed, she explained. Miley Cyrus or Lady Gaga, for example, may be approached too closely or run into a guest.
According to Madame Tussauds, a wax figure takes more than 20 artists more than 800 hours to complete. More than 200 measurements are taken in order to build a metal skeleton and a clay mold into which the wax will be poured. If the subject is not present in person, artists depend on photographs.
Since wax shrinks, all of the figures were around 2% larger than the actual subjects, according to the company. Since it takes more than a month to inject individual strands of human hair into the wax, the heads and bodies are rendered separately.
The exhibits at Madame Tussauds date back over 200 years, but the first U.S. location opened in Las Vegas in 1999. According to Brittany Williams, a company spokeswoman, each site has a studio artist who does frequent touch-ups and routine maintenance on the figures.
Our studio artists have a treasure trove of resources to completely restore the wax figure and put it back in the spotlight if a hand is holding too tightly or too many visitors have run their fingers through the hair of a famous figure,” Ms. Williams said.