Page last updated at 11:54 GMT, Thursday, 15 January 2009

Obama waxwork for Madame Tussauds

Barack Obama waxwork
Mr Obama is due to be inaugurated as president next Tuesday

US President-elect Barack Obama's waxwork has been unveiled at London's Madame Tussauds ahead of his inauguration ceremony in Washington.

Mr Obama's wax likeness has him standing in a recreation of the White House's Oval office.

The office is complete with the Resolute desk and the carpet embossed with the presidential seal of office.

Mr Obama is depicted smiling in a relaxed and informal pose with his arms crossed in front of him.

Liz Edwards, of the central London attraction, said: "As you can imagine Mr Obama has been incredibly busy during the election process and since.

Hundreds of photographs

"So we have to make our figures, when we are not lucky to have them sitting in our studios, through hundreds of photographs and extensive research."

Studio artists Les Punter and Jim Kempton worked with clay moulds to create the likeness of President-elect Obama, along with a planned waxwork of Republican rival John McCain.

A spokesman for Madame Tussauds said thousands of photographs of both men were studied to create the likeness.

Students from the American International University were invited to meet the new waxwork president on the morning of the unveiling.

The attraction in Marylebone Road is offering free, restricted admission to US citizens on Tuesday to mark the new president's inauguration.

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