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Wellington International Airport Media Release The Lord of the Rings

6 Nov 2003


Wellington Airport has today announced its first instalment for the world premiere of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King.

Gollum, the award-winning creature that stunned both audiences and The Academy Awards, will be craned onto the top of the airport terminal to welcome those descending on the capital.

The six metre high model, placed on the Embassy Theatre in Wellington last year, will return to a higher plane for 2003. This time he will be visible to national and international aircraft as well as visitors inside the Wellington Airport terminal.

Ensuring Gollum can survive the rigours of Middle Tarmac has been an adventure all of its own and has been achieved with the great cooperation of Weta Workshop.

Wellington Airport has spent more than 200 hours constructing a new foundation on which Gollum's head, hands and, of course, The Ring, will be secured by 21 concrete plinths and more than 100 bolts. The preparations have been undertaken mainly after hours to coincide with airport operations.

Wellington Airport CEO, John Sheridan, said the world premiere was an unprecedented moment for Wellington.

"Wellington Airport is proud to be part of this extraordinary event for the region. For many visitors the airport is their first taste of Wellington and we are committed to ensuring it is colourful and vibrant, like the city itself."

The instalment of Gollum is just the first of a number of unique projects between Wellington Airport, Weta Workshop and Three Foot Six, which will soon be made public and will see the terminal transformed into The Gateway to Middle Earth.

"The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was made by a Wellington director, a Wellington company and is the pride of Wellingtonians. It is only fitting that our city, our airport and our people feel they are part of such an important international showcase."

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