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Wax Obamas installed in Madame Tussauds

Jan. 16, 2009 at 11:43 PM

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- President-elect Barack Obama was installed in the "Spirit of America" room at Madame Tussauds Las Vegas days before his inauguration.

Obama's wax figure almost missed Thursday's ceremony, the Las Vegas Sun reports. It arrived at McCarran International Airport Monday but then was held up in Customs.

The world-famous wax museum has expanded from its original in London to eight branches around the globe. Obama was the first person to be installed in all eight branches at the same time.

"He was the number one request overnight as soon as he got the nomination for the presidency," Madame Tussauds Las Vegas General Manager Adrian Jones said.

The Las Vegas installation -- presided over by Frank Hawkins, president of the Nevada chapter of the NAACP -- featured three students reading essays and cantors from the Guardian Angel Cathedral.

Obama is the fifth U.S. president to be featured at the wax museum. His statue stands near that of his predecessor, President George W. Bush.

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