He has a long and growing list of honors and awards, but this might be the most unique honor yet: the Musée Grévin, a wax museum in Paris, added a figure of Stromae to its collection yesterday.
The museum, founded in 1882, holds a collection of hundreds of wax figures from historical and modern life. Each year, the museum’s board of journalists, known as the Académie Grévin, tracks the top newsmakers “who grace the front pages of the world’s press” and elects 4-6 new celebrities to be added. A figure for Line Renaud, a popular French singer, actress, and AIDS activist, was also added yesterday. This is the first time that the museum has introduced two statues at the same time, emphasizing that they wanted to “pay homage to two unconventional routes with a point in common: a very young start to their careers accompanied by immediate success.”
In anticipation of the unveiling ceremony yesterday evening, Ms. Renaud, who is 86, posted a handwritten note on her social media accounts that she hoped her “twin sister” would “love Stromae as much as I do, because she will be there too and she is going to spend the rest of her existence at his side.”
The statue is dressed and posed like Stromae’s absent father character in the “Papaoutai” video. Stromae found the idea of a wax statue particularly apt, since people are always asking him whether it’s really him in the video or whether it’s a statue. “To respond to the question, in the video it was really me, and here at last, the real statue exists. The real statue of ‘Papaoutai’.” He added that he didn’t want the statue to look too realistic, because in the video the character is supposed to look like a wax figure.
He also took the time to express appreciation for the museum’s work. “It’s especially impressive to see with what minutiae and perfectionism all of you work with. I was just very impressed by uh, well, it’s especially…when you know the Musée Grévin from a distance, well you know what it is, more or less, but when you see the passionate people that are behind the scenes, etc., and the minutiae applied to the work, you’re quite impressed.” The statue’s creator is Stéphane Barret, who worked for 6 months to complete the figure.
While Stromae found it “bizarre” being face-to-face with his double, he walked all around it, looked it up and down, measured his arm against its arm, and commented, “It’s nice to see the back of myself.” Then, apparently overcoming his uneasiness, he planted a big kiss on his double’s cheek.
Video showing Stromae and Line Renaud arriving at the ceremony arm-in-arm, clips of the ceremony, and behind the scenes at the making of the statues:
For more photos and videos, visit our French site, stromaeometre.fr.
Thanks to Paul-Sylvie Yonke for her translation of Stromae’s comments at the ceremony.