The Dominion
April 21, 2001

Wellington Tribute Put On Hold
Staff Reporter

Plans for a Lord of the Rings tribute in Wellington have been put on hold till the first film in the trilogy is released later this year.

Plans included the screening of the New Zealand premiere for the Lord of the Rings in Wellington, a bronze statue of characters from the series, and a museum based on the movies and the making of the movies.

Mayor Mark Blumsky said: "We've reassessed things and though we are still very keen to have a Lord of the Rings tribute of some kind in the city, we need to wait till the first film is released.

"We've met with New Line Studios and they're excited about the ideas we've suggested. However, we need to discuss our plans and get approval from the Tolkien estate, who own the rights to Lord of the Rings, before proceeding.

"The focus right now for New Line Studios is getting the first film, The Fellowship of the Ring, out. They will be involved in whatever tribute we plan. We've got some great ideas but we'll sit tight till the first film is out."

Councillor Mary Varnham, who flew to New York in February to meet New Line, said the council had not been aware of the legal complexities of dealing with New Line Studios and the Tolkien Estate.

Intellectual property was a complex legal area, and negotiations would take time.

Meanwhile, interest in the Lord of Rings is soaring with New Line Cinema's website generating more than 350 million hits world wide since re-launching on January 12.