Asia’s First Grévin Museum Brings Hallyu Stars to Life

by ALEX HYUN | @ahyundarkb4dawn

Ever wish you could meet Psy and take a selfie with him? Well, now you can! The famous French waxwork museum, Musée Grévin, opened its first Asian branch in Seoul on Thursday, the Korean Herald reported.

Run jointly with Mast Entertainment, Grévin Seoul focuses sharply on Korean pop-culture and entertainment and is the world’s largest exhibition featuring Hallyu stars, from first generation to rising talent.

“We decided Seoul to be our first destination for Grévin Museum in Asia because the city has rich history and strong cultural content. From here, the Hallyu boom has spread throughout Asia,” said Dominique Marcel, CEO of Grévin’s parent company, Compagnie des Alpes, the Korean Herald quoted.

The venue hosts seven extensive exhibits: Hallyu Stars, International Stars, History & Great Men, The Great Champions, Artists at Work, Hall of Fame and Discovery Atelier.

In the Hallyu Stars exhibit, museum guests can pose on the red carpet with popular Korean actors, such as Bae Yong-joon, Choi Ji-woo, Kim Soo-hyun, Park Shin-hye and Lee Min-ho. Meanwhile, K-pop fans can share the spotlight with their favorite artists, including G-dragon and Rain.

Guests can also snap photos with global icons like Paris Hilton, Brad Pitt and ex-figure skating champion Kim Yuna. The museum also uses state-of-the-art audio and light symptoms to fully immerse visitors in the viewing experience.

Although the museum displays foreign political figures, such as Barack Obama, Xi Jinping and Queen Elizabeth II, attendees will notice that there are no waxworks of South Korean political figures–with the exception of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“We wanted to stay away from local politics because it’s sensitive and we wanted personalities everyone would be happy with,” Kim Yong-kwan, CEO of Mast Entertainment, told Agence France-Presse. He added that the museum did contact South Korean President Park Geun-hye, but did not receive a response.

At the end of each museum tour, guests are treated to a workshop where they can learn the process of wax figure making and create their own facial wax figures by using a special scanning software.

The Grévin, which has branches in France, Prague and Montreal, hopes the Seoul museum can attract tourists from other Asian countries in the near future. The Seoul site expects to attract about 450,000 visitors per year including foreign tourists.

Currently, Grévin Seoul has 80 life-size wax models of global figures, with 30 of them representing Koreans. The museum plans to add four to five new waxworks each year.

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Featured image via Yonhap

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