LOTR - Science Museum Exhibit - Press
Last Update: 16 Sep 2003
- Source: TheOneRing.net
- London Science Museum LOTR Exhibition
- The Opening!
Today, Monday the 15th marks the opening of the highly anticipated
- the Rings exhibition in the London Science
Museum. TheOneRing.net was there,
- got a chance to chat to all the VIPs
present, shoot some footage and bring
- you this exclusive report!
- The exhibition opens for the general
public tomorrow, today the press
- (gathered from all over the world!)
got a sneak peak at the exhibit,
- which is said to have sold more tickets
than anything else the Science Museum
- has ever hosted. No gathering masses
around the museum today though,
- just lots of Finnish students, one or
two tourists and a bunch of press
- people eagerly awaiting the launch of
the first European LOTR-exhibit.
- Other then that very few people on the
street seemed to be aware of the
Naturally TORn arrived early, about two hours early, but that
- because it gave us a good chance to
check our equipment, hobnob with the
- BBC and of course eat doughnuts. While
waiting none other than Ringer
- Spy Irascian walked out the door. He
was present at the 'UK' presslaunch
- whereas TORn of course was there for
the 'international' launch, a bit later
- on the day. Enthusiastic is too humble
a word to describe Irascian's opinion
- about the exhibit. He revealed that
he took something in the region of
- 300 pictures and was going to write
up a transcription of the press-conference
- that was given during his session. Hopefully
that'll appear online within a
- few days!
- While still talking another familiar
face turned up: that of
- Herr-der-Ringe-film.de webmaster Círdan.
He flew in all the way from
- Germany that morning to report on the
opening of the exhibit, and if that
- doesn't make him a lucky enough person
he also amitted having "heard and
- read" the new ROTK-trailer, due
sometime next week!
Anyway, we are not here to talk about that, heheh.. The hour
- when the exhibit would open its doors
so we made our way inside the
- (huge) London Science Museum, up a flight
of stairs, past some security
- people and right into the arms of....
the Argonath! The two giant polystone
- sculptures of the Pillars of Kings welcome
every visitor to the exhibit, just
- like they welcomed the Fellowship into
the final part of The Fellowship of the
- Ring. Crouched beneath the left statue
was WETA Workshop's amazingly
- detailed Gollum-statue, which was quicky
removed later on for reasons
- unknown. Apparently Andy Serkis was
supposed to attend the presslaunches
- but he didn't show, maybe that's why
they brought it out.
- To describe the exhibit word by word
would probably do it no justice. It is rich
- and detailed and has a little bit of
everything (although sadly enough not a
- whole lot from The Return of the King,
maybe next year?). Costumes like
- those of Arwen, Gandalf, Galadriel,
Frodo, Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas and
- Theoden are displayed throughout the
exhibit alongside the outfits of Orcs,
- Uruks, Rohirrim and pretty much every
other character in the movies.
The exhibit also features a wide range of props and weapons (ranging
- Galadriel's gifts to the stuff on Sarumans
desk in Orthanc). Highlights include
- a display with Frodo's 'gadgets'; the
mithril shirt, Sting, the Phial, Bilbo's
- Red Book and Thror's map, lots of nice
things to oogle over! Another display
- showed the piles of parchment, books
and other assorted mess that Gandalf
- worked through in Minas Tirith.
- So what else was there? Highlights for
me personally were the 'bigature' of
- the Hobbiton Mill-Set which looked absolutely
fabulous. Another memorable
- item was the larger-than-life statue
of the Cave Troll and Moria Orc and the
- model of Treebeard's head: magnificent
stuff! Of course there were the items
- one would expect at an exhibit like
these: The One Ring itself of course,
- lots of helmets and other weaponry,
a huge statue of the Dark Lord himself
- and many, many other things. You'd best
go and see it for yourself because
- there really is much more then one person
can absorb in three hours' time.
- One last highlight was the very scaling
area where two people could sit down
- on two parts of a cart against a green
screen and then, by some magic camera
- - and computer imagery appear to be
Hobbit-sized and 'Gandalf-sized'. Of
- course anything that can make me look
Hobbit-sized is rather spectacular!
- Apart from various media-people from
all over the world (ranging from Holland
- to Brazil) the London Science Museum
had invited some very interesting
- guests. The above mentioned Andy Serkis
unfortunately didn't show, as did
- Billy Boyd, however we still had the
immense pleasure of running into
- Lurtz-actor Lawrence Makoare, WETA-founder
and Oscar-winner Richard
- Taylor and British author and Tolkien
Expert Brian Sibley.
- Lawrence Makoare was, for the largest
part of the day, dressed up in his
- Lurtz-outfit, which must've been hellish
given the warm weather. Richard
- Taylor also seemed a bit under the weather,
though that might have been
- because of the long flight in from New
Zealand the day before. Nevertheless
- both took some time out to answer a
few of our questions. Expect to see
- some extremely cool footage of this
event and these interviews later
- this week in TORn Digital!
- After three almost three hours of wandering
around the exhibit it was time to
- head out (at least we didn't think so,
but the people from the Science
- Museum really wanted to leave). Alas,
three hours is far too short a time
- to spend amongst such admirable craftsmanship.
Looking back on it now
- I still see pictures of the event (check
them out in our scrapbook!) and
- remember not having seen that bit of
the exhibit, which really is too bad.
- The London Science Museum Exhibition
runs till January 11th and any
- information you want to know about the
event can be found at the website: www.sciencemuseum.org.uk.
European fans should be sure to check it out,
- as London is the only venue in Europe
the exhibit will attend. Don't miss it!
- Source: The
It's a hit - but should the Science Museum showcase props from
- movie? Some 260,000 people are expected
to see the new 'Lord of the Rings'
- exhibition - but critics say it is further
evidence of dumbing down
By Louise Jury, Arts Correspondent
16 September 2003
- Devotees of The Lord of the Rings will
think they have died and gone to Middle
- Earth. From today, hundreds of props,
costumes and gadgetry from the epic
- production of the J R R Tolkien trilogy,
directed by Peter Jackson, go on display
- in a £750,000 show in London.
- The exhibition is being held at the
Science Museum in South Kensington,
- founded from the proceeds of the Great
Exhibition. The aim of the founding
- fathers was to deliver to the masses
knowledge of Western science, technology,
- industry and medicine.
- What critics were asking yesterday was
how this Victorian spirit of intellectual
- improvement could be reconciled with
a self-conscious blockbuster exhibition
- based on a fantasy movie already seen
by a global audience of millions?
- One thing is certain, there is no questioning
the demand. More than 17,000
- people had booked tickets before the
exhibition opens. Visitors are being told
- to book in advance, or risk being turned
away. Some 260,000 people are
- expected to cram into the show before
it closes on 11 January, which would
- make it, pro rata, the most popular
show seen at the Science Museum.
- What they will see is the shimmering
costume of the elf queen, Galadriel,
- the weapons of handsome Aragorn, the
Hobbit home of Frodo and even
- examples of his hairy prosthetic Hobbit
feet. Visitors will be able to shrink to
- Hobbit size, 3ft 6in, and have their
photograph taken as if on set. And they
- can hear the computer whizz-kids behind
the giant battle scenes explain how
- they created thousands of computer soldiers
with fighting brains of their own.
- It is an exhibition destined to be a
hit. But, like the Star Wars exhibition at
- the Barbican Centre, its blockbuster
appeal raises suspicions that the
- institution's very integrity is being
put in jeopardy.
- The fear is that the pressure to satisfy
the Government's demand to widen
- access to parts of the community that
has traditionally not visited museums is
- encouraging an unstoppable drive to
populism. On top of that is the ever-constant
- pressure on budgets. The museum is charging
£9.95 for adults and £6.95 for
- children during the week, rising to
£11.95 and £8.95 respectively at weekends.
- Profits will pay for refurbishment of
the building's entrance for schoolchildren.
- Julian Spalding, the former Glasgow
museums director and author of The
- Poetic Museum: Reviving Historic Collections,
said there was no legitimate
- reason for a publicly funded institution
to put on any show simply to increase
- visitors. "The question they always
have to ask themselves is, 'What good are
- we doing? What are we giving to our
visitors that they wouldn't have any
- other way?'.
- "Is this a legitimate use of Science
Museum space? Computer animation is
- part of popular visual culture, but
a museum needs to tackle it from an
- independent point of view. They're just
making a virtue of a commercial
- activity. The Versace show [at the Victoria
and Albert Museum last year]
- and this show are trade shows, because
it's one product."
- David Barrie, the director of the National
Art Collections Fund charity,
- said two important factors were driving
nearly all museums and galleries.
- "All our museums ... are pressed
for money," he said. "And one of the things
- they have to demonstrate to Government
is that they are attracting the
- widest possible audiences. That does
lead them to seek out exhibitions
- that are going to achieve these objectives."
- Neither of these factors was bad in
itself, he said. "The only concern one
- might have is that sometimes there's
a desperate desire to generate income
- that might force people to do things
that otherwise they might not want to do.
- The fundamental issue is to what extent
do the ever-more pressing funding
- needs of our national museums and galleries
distort their normal exhibition
- plans. It's probably difficult to tell."
- The former chairman of the Institute
of Contemporary Arts Ivan Massow
- was more blunt. "It's a PR stunt
and the kind of things that make these
- great institutions simply PR halls,"
he said. "When the Government doesn't
- properly invest in culture and art and
museums for the sciences then our
- institutions are forced to turn to commercialism
and lose the very essence of
- what art and science is trying to achieve.
What's become important to them
- is their survival, not their purpose.
It's not their fault."
- Yet Jon Tucker, the head of the Science
Museum, said it was perfectly fitting
- for it to take the exhibition, which
was devised and originally hosted by the
- National Museum of New Zealand. "It's
absolutely packed with insights into
- the various technologies of the film-making
industry and some of the
- technology is absolutely ground-breaking,"
- But he admitted that the movie was also
a way of jolting people who did
- not think of themselves as interested
in science into visiting the museum.
- "We know from research amongst
our visitors that once they're here they
- find we're much more interesting than
they thought we were going to be,"
- he said. "But we're quite careful
to protect the quality of the experience."
- Jill Nelson, director of science communication
for the British Association for
- the Advancement of Science, said scientists
were divided over the balancing
- act required between popularising science
and trivialising it. But it was legitimate
- to try to attract new audiences in to
the Science Museum - and it was reasonable
- to assume that an exhibition on The
Lord of the Rings would bring in a
- different audience.
- Brian Sibley, author of several books
on The Lord of the Rings, described the
- show as wonderful. "What we're
seeing here is a display of the work of
- craftsmen and technicians, which is
absolutely suited to being seen here -
- or across the road in the V&A,"
- "You can absolutely see the attention
- MIDDLE EARTH OR MIDDLE BROW?
- Barbican Centre
- Attracted ridicule in 2001 for "The
Art of Star Wars" exhibit, which displayed
- tired props from the film including
pod racers, the R2-D2 robot and Ewoks
- in glass cases.
- Imperial War Museum
- Home to a "1940s House", a
reconstruction of the pre-war suburban home
- that featured in the Channel 4 series
of the same name. The promotional
- literature offers visitors the chance
to "see the house that Granny grew
- up in - find out what she had for tea."
- National Gallery
- Charles Saumarez Smith, the director,
surprised art circles last year by
- announcing that the gallery was to exhibit
Rolf Harris's work. The pieces,
- from the presenter's BBC1 show Rolf
on Art, featured works based on
- masterpieces such as Monet's Waterlilies.
- Natural History Museum
- Launched a massive marketing campaign
this summer to publicise its
- Tyrannosaurus Rex exhibition. Visitors
judge whether the T Rex was a
- hunter or an opportunistic scavenger.
- Science Museum
- Accused by critics of dumbing down in
the past two years with exhibits such
- as the 'Grossology' show, pictured top,
replete with burping and farting
- Victoria & Albert Museum
- Sparked controversy last year with its
retrospective of the work of designer
- Gianni Versace, particularly for displaying
the dress that Liz Hurley wore
- to the premiere of Four Weddings and
- Source: BBC
- Stephanie was one of the first people
to check out the LOTR exhibition at
- London's Science Museum.
- It's one of the hottest tickets in town
- more than 14,000 fans have brought
- advance tickets to see stuff from the
- "When I went in there was a huge
cave troll at the entrance. It was a bit scary,
- but it was a great way to start the
exhibition and gave me an impression of
- what was to come.
- I've watched all the LOTR films and
I've read the books. All my friends are
- big fans, and they were jealous when
they heard I was going to the exhibition.
- There was a model of Sean Bean's character
in a boat. It looks exactly like him.
- Loads of my friends like Orlando Bloom
and his elf costume was in there - the
- sleeves were really short!