Wax Hitler returns to Berlin museum after beheading

Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:10am EDT
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BERLIN (Reuters) - A restored waxwork of Adolf Hitler has returned to Berlin's Madame Tussauds after a demonstrator ripped off its head when it went on show two months ago, the museum said on Sunday.

Minutes after the museum opened in July, a former Berlin police officer scuffled with guards and leapt over a rope before tearing off the head of the wax model of the Nazi leader.

Madame Tussauds said the figure had been returned to a room featuring a mock bunker, where visitors could see the figure from behind glass windows, but not touch it.

The waxwork shows a despondent-looking Hitler staring in front of him, his hair slightly disheveled.

The wax Hitler had sparked a heated debate in Germany even before it went on display in July. Critics argued it was tasteless to display the replica of the man who unleashed World War Two and ordered the extermination of Europe's Jews.

Madame Tussauds said the museum avoided politics.

"As we've explained from the start, Adolf Hitler stands for a significant part of German history and his waxwork therefore is a legitimate part of our exhibition, which we had confirmed through local polls," the museum said in a statement.

The 41-year-old who beheaded Hitler had shouted "No more war!" as he tore off the head.

He told newspapers later he was angry about the exhibition but he had carried out the attack to win a bet.

(Reporting by Kerstin Gehmlich; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

<p>A wax figure of Adolf Hitler is pictured through a glass screen in a mock bunker at the German 'Madame Tussauds' in Berlin September 13, 2008. The figure of Hitler was back on display on Saturday at the waxworks at Berlin's well-known Unter den Linden boulevard, two months after its head was wrenched off by a visitor. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke</p>