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31/01/06
Tussauds to Zap PlanetariumTussauds to Zap Planetarium
- Heavens above succumb to stars from below

THE LIGHTS will go out at the London Planetarium this summer as owners of Madame Tussauds wield the axe at the heavens.

The Planetarium sits above the famous Tussauds waxwork exhibition on Baker Street and a joint ticket buys visitors the right to see both attractions, but the Planetarium has suffered from declining audience figures in recent years.

“We have done research to find out why people come to Madame Tussauds and the reason was to get up close and personal to famous people,” said a spokesperson.

The decision to replace the Planetarium with a revamped Auditorium featuring star-gazing of a different kind - a journey into the “worlds of fame and celebrity” as Tussaud’s put it - has annoyed astronomers.

“I'm amazed that the management can't come up with exciting and interesting shows about the wonders of the universe that will attract audiences again,” said Robin Scagell, of the Society for Popular Astronomy.

“They have a valuable resource that they are squandering through a lack of imagination.”



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