Te Papa, New Line Cinema and principal sponsor Air New Zealand are delighted to announce the return of the most popular exhibition in New Zealand’s history – The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy – The Exhibition. Opening at Te Papa on 14 April 2006, this interactive and immersive exhibition with many brand new exhibits explores writer/director/producer Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy based on the J.R.R. Tolkien masterpiece.

The exhibition first opened at Te Papa in December 2002 attracting 220,000 visitors, and since then seen by over a million people worldwide. The exhibition has been shown at science museums in London, Boston, Singapore, Houston, Indianapolis, and the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

The exhibition covering over 1000 square metres of gallery space will be significantly refreshed to include stunning new items from the film trilogy. These include Aragorn’s coronation crown, Arwen’s coronation crown and dress, and Gandalf the White’s robes. The impressive and large scale ‘miniature’ of the great fortified city Minas Tirith and Corsair’s boat will also be on display for the very first time, as will preliminary sculptures of Gollum’s facial expressions used to develop his character.

Items never before seen in New Zealand also include a model of a mumakil, maquettes and information about the making of digital creatures such as Shelob, and Anduril, the sword of Aragorn. Visitors will be treated to all-new interviews with the cast and crew about their personal experiences and relationships during the making of the films. Original artworks developed for characters and scenes will also be exhibited.

“The return of this internationally successful exhibition gives visitors one last chance to explore the magical world created by the vision of director Peter Jackson and the groundbreaking technology behind the movies,” said Dr Seddon Bennington, Te Papa’s Chief Executive. ”From skilled artisans to computer wizardry – this exhibition displays kiwi ingenuity at its finest,” he added.

Air New Zealand Group General Manager Marketing, Network and Sales Norm Thompson said there was no questioning Air New Zealand’s involvement in the second exhibition following its huge support for the movie a few years ago when the airline visually themed all its jet aircraft.

“We are proud to be supporting the return of New Zealand’s most popular exhibition. Not only does it showcase our country’s talent, creativity and innovation, it’s a great way to celebrate the movie that put Middle-earth on the map, our people under the international spotlight, and inspired people to visit our beautiful country,” said Mr Thompson.

The exhibition will see the return of models of Ringwraiths, Orcs, the Cave Troll, and Treebeard, as well as costumes, jewellery, and weapons of characters such as Frodo, Arwen, and Aragorn. Magnificent miniature sets and models used to create the epic world of Middle-earth returning to this exhibition include Frodo’s vision of the ruined Hobbiton Mill, the Tower of Orthanc, and Sauron’s tower, Barad-dur.

Visitors will learn how some of the amazing special effects in The Lord of the Rings films were achieved, and how make-up techniques were used to such great effect.

Behind the scenes footage demonstrates the revival of traditional crafts to create ‘authentic’ medieval weaponry and armour, such as chainmail. This craftsmanship is demonstrated in twelve complete sets of armour in the armour corridor.

Animatronics, a combination of animation and puppetry that brought characters such as Treebeard to life is explained through audiovisuals.

A scaling interactive explores how actors are made to appear to be hobbit or wizard-sized using an ingenious mix of trick photography, forced perspective sets, and props made at different scales. Visitors can enjoy first-hand experience of the films’ special effects by being photographed in a set from the film to see how the technology works.

This second season of The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy – The Exhibition at Te Papa has been made possible though the support of New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, and principal sponsor Air New Zealand.

The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy – The Exhibition
14 April – 20 August 2006
Level 5, Te Papa

Admission charges apply.
Adults $12, Children (4-14 years) $6.50. Family concession available.

Developed and presented by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in partnership with New Line Cinema.