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A waxworks exhibition comes to Nicosia’s Ledra Street March 21, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Arts Exhibitions Cyprus.
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An exhibition featuring 50 wax and silicone figures was yesterday opened by Nicosia Mayor Eleni Mavrou at the Municipal Information Centre at the bottom of Ledra Street.

Named ‘Ledras’, it hosts life-sized figures by renowned Russian artist Alexey Chuzhov that portray among others names from ancient Greek Mythology such as Hercules and Socrates, cartoon heroes, characters from the world of cinema such as Captain Sparrow, Shrek and Harry Potter as well as other well-known celebrities.

Mavrou described the exhibition as, “special and interesting,” adding that it will appeal to all age groups. “This is a cultural event which will give locals and visitors alike the opportunity to see what many have experienced already throughout Europe. The artist has managed to give life to his creations in an amazing way.”

Speaking to the press, Chuzhov, who has 20 year experience of working with wax, said that it takes between six months and a year to create one figure. “It is human tradition to make figures from wax, which often bear an amazing resemblance to their real-life subjects,” he said.

According to a Municipality press release, “the art of wax portraits in Europe has existed for centuries. Thanks to its qualities, wax was used by the ancients as a substance which connected the world of living beings and the world of the dead.”

Ancient Greeks made portrayals of the gods for performing vows and religious ceremonies. They also made wax dolls for children’s entertainment. In ancient Rome, wax masks of dead noble Romans were stored with great honour and were used in religious celebrations. When Christianity became the main religion in Europe, wax portrayals of noble persons were dedicated to the church and were stored in cathedrals. Many sculptors, such as Michelangelo, before working with marble made their masterpieces out of wax.

“Russian masters have worked out a unique technology of making wax which allows demonstrating wax figures in a wide range of temperatures from -40 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees. This wax doesn’t shine and perfectly imitates human skin,” said Rena Fotsiou of Nicosia Municipality. “Masters of the Museum of Wax Figures in Saint Petersburg use high-quality prosthetic appliances of eyes, teeth and real hair in their work.”

Four years ago, the masters began to make figures out of silicone, which they say is much more solid and stable. Previously, only visible parts of the body were made of silicone but it is now possible to make full-length nude figures. Silicone allows for the demonstration of figures in the open air, in any weather conditions. “They are used for advertising, photography and even to decorate a modern interior,” explained Fotsiou.

Chuzhov’s exhibits have been presented all over Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Serbia, Finland, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, and Ukraine
The ‘Ledras’ exhibition will run until September 21, with entrance costing one to five euros. During its duration, it will be open from 10am to 5pm including weekends.

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