Meeting President Mandela

on .

Madame TussaudsMarie Tussaud was born Anna Maria Grosholtz in 1761 in Strasbourg. Her mother worked as a housekeeper to Dr. Philippe Curtius in Berne, Switzerland, a physician skilled in wax modelling, who eventually trained young Marie in that fine art. She created her first wax figure, of Voltaire, in 1777. Other famous people she modeled at that time include Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Benjamin Franklin. By 1835 Marie had settled down in Baker Street, London, and opened a museum. At this museum, I was delighted to meet Captain Jean-Luc Picard, commanding officer of the USS (United Space Ship) Enterprise. He happened to be in London during my visit before continuing "to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before". I was even more thrilled to "exchange" some words with Nelson Mandela, the first president of the new South Africa. I asked him whether he still subscribes to the "Economist" weekly.