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Gollum welcomes visitors to Wellington airport

During the next couple of months, if a visit to Wellington airport is on your list of things to do then try not to be too shocked you are welcomed by JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings character Gollum.


In celebration of An Unexpected Journey, the first Hobbit Film from Peter Jackson, Japanese artist Masauki Ohashi has used epoxy resin and polystyrene to sculpt a 43ft (13m) replica of the creature using robotics and chainsaws. Passengers are to be welcomed by a sign stating they have reached “the middle of Middle-earth” as a promotion for the new film that sees British actor Andy Serkis playing the odd creature.


The Wellington based special effects company, Weta Workshop designed the creation and Ohashi said that working on the project was an exciting experience. Weta Workshop have previously worked on The Lord of The Rings where they snatched up three Oscars for their work and Weta co-founder Richard Taylor announced that spending so much time making the trilogy had resulted in Wellington airport feeling like Gollum’s home.


Fairfax NZ News have said that on Friday the oversized Gollum was unveiled along with bubbles as he attempts to catch one of the three 4m fish that are suspended in front of him. In Tolkien’s The Hobbit, the tale he wrote for children in 1937, Gollum was first encountered by Bilbo Baggins, everyone’s favourite hairy homunculus. He was seen to be attempting to catch blind, bug eyed fish in muddy pools as he is replicating in Ohashi’s carving.


Bilbo was played by British actor Martin Freeman in the new film which is set for release on December 14 in the US and UK with December 2013 set as the date for the debut of the second film, The Desolation of Smaug and the final film in the trilogy, There and Back Again is said to be release in the summer of 2014.



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