Excuse me, but haven't we met each other somewhere before?

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 April, 2008, 12:00am

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen could be forgiven for thinking he was seeing double yesterday.

He has joined President Hu Jintao and other figures whose likenesses are on display at Madame Tussauds on The Peak.

Mr Tsang has the honour of being the first local political figure to feature there.

Sporting the same outfit as the wax figure - a dark blue suit, golden yellow bow tie, matching pocket handkerchief and a dragon-shaped Hong Kong pin - the chief executive looked delighted when he unveiled his likeness, saying: 'He is more handsome than me.'

The museum said Mr Tsang was chosen to join more than 100 celebrities, including late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping and movie legend Bruce Lee, because he was the political figure most in demand based on a survey in which thousands of visitors to the museum were interviewed.

The wax figure is displayed against a backdrop of the Hong Kong skyline complete with festive fireworks over Victoria Harbour. Guests will hear the sounds of fireworks when they walk past the statue.

Kelly Mak Yuen-han, Madame Tussauds head of marketing and customer services, said Hong Kong's night sky and fireworks were chosen because they were symbolic tourism elements for the city.

'It's like Mr Tsang greeting every visitor from around the world ... and he likes this idea,' Ms Mak said.

The wax figure is in the museum's historical and national heroes section next to likenesses of President Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao , with scientist Albert Einstein's image standing opposite.

More than 300 photographs and hundreds of measurements of Mr Tsang were taken in October before the waxwork was created in Britain.

The museum said the bow tie, handkerchief and pin were donated from his own wardrobe.

The Tourism Board yesterday opened its new visitor centre on The Peak, converted from an old tramcar. To coincide with the opening, visitors born in 1959 and 1989 - the first and the last years in which the tramcar operated - are being offered free rides on The Peak Tram until the end of this month.

Meanwhile, Tourism Board chairman James Tien Pei-chun said 167,000 mainland visitors were recorded in Hong Kong from last Thursday to Sunday, up 46 per cent on the same period last year. The increase was due to more visitors arriving during the long weekend, with the Ching Ming festival on Friday now an official holiday on the mainland.

Hall of fame

The number of local and international celebrity wax figures in Madame Tussauds on The Peak is more than: 100