Exquisitely Evil Arrives at Spy Museum

Nov. 16 marked the opening of Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains at the Spy Museum. Tied in with the recent 50th anniversary of Dr. No and the release of Skyfall, the exhibit commemorates a different side of the James Bond franchise – the villains of the series. Exquisitely Evil looks at Bond each villain and how his nemeses have evolved over time.

This was one of the first times that the villains of the series were a main focus, and many of the museum staff were eager to see the franchise in this light.

“Where would Bond be without villains?” asked Milton Maltz, founder and chairman of the Spy Museum.

Exquisitely Evil aims to cater to a wide audience. Accordingly, the Spy Museum worked for fifteen months on an exhibit that would engage everyone, from Bond aficionados to families with children. Numerous articles are on lend from EON Productions, the London-based producer of the James Bond films. The exhibit’s displays are both interactive and static and are full of Bond related information and artifacts.

Items on display include Jaw’s teeth from The Spy Who Loved Me, the destroyed satellite from Goldeneye and Dr. No’s infamous tarantula from the first Bond film. The exhibit’s interactive displays include a very dynamic, motion activated shark tank and the opportunity to create a villainous persona and lair.

“My favorite part of the exhibit is the shark tank,” Maltz said, “People will find it interesting – it’s safe danger.”

Profiles of Bond villains can be seen throughout the exhibit. These feature a biography and a summary of their evil schemes. All of Bond’s major nemeses are present, from Irma Bunt to Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

The exhibit also features stories from real spies, made possible by former members of the CIA that shared their experiences.

With the 50th anniversary of the series, Bond has been on everyone’s mind recently. Exquisitely Evil brings the villains to the forefront, and the exhibit’s visitors will be surrounded by characters that so many have loved to hate.

Many people have their personal favorites among Bond’s nemeses.

“Rosa Klebb [is my favorite villain],” Dame Stella Rimington, former head of MI5 and attendee of the exhibit’s opening, said, “When I first became head of MI5, I had a journalist tell me that I wasn’t at all like her, like she had expected. I was kind of offended.”

Exquisitely Evil will remain at the Spy Museum until 2014.

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