Lifesize Minas Tirith

Much to the chagrin of fantasy fans, Middle Earth is not a real location. While you can visit certain areas of New Zealand where shooting locations from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies have been turned into tourist attractions, it’s just not the same, and a lot of fans can’t afford to fly over there.

But what if Middle Earth, or part of it, could be realized in the United Kingdom? That’s what a group of J.R.R. Tolkien fans and architects is hoping to do with a new croundfunded project that hopes to build a lifesize Minas Tirith replica somewhere in the south of England.

The Telegraph brought our attention to an IndieGoGo campaign that is attempting to raise nearly £2 billion in order to build this Lord of the Rings city. The campaign page breaks down the estimates of the cost of this project, including £15 million for land, £188 million for labor and £1.4 billion for materials. Any addition money would be used to maintain the building until 2053.

If the project somehow manages to raise the insane amount of money needed for this project, they hope to begin building in 2016, and intend to have it finished in 2023. This doesn’t seem to just be a group of fans who created a crowdfunding campaign for a big hoax, because the campaign page explains about its creators:

“We are an ambitious team of architects and structural engineers who are passionate about creating a beautiful, inspirational and fully-functioning replica of Peter Jackson’s depiction of Minas Tirith, as seen in his Lord of the Rings films”

Fully functioning? I’m not sure what primary functions Minas Tirith had as a city besides being a stronghold for one of the biggest battles in The Lord of the Rings, but I assume this means that since this would be a lifesize city, that it would have everything you would imagine a city like that to have.

Keep in mind, the page is very much aware of how ridiculous this endeavor seems, as they say, “Please only donate within your means, and in the knowledge that this project is a light-hearted venture with virtually no chance of succeeding.” I would say that chances are even more slim than that.

As a lifesize replica of a city, this would require some pretty extensive building permits and who knows what other kind of red tape would be involved. And that’s not even considering things like bathrooms and other amenities, which would need to be in place for something that would clearly become a tourist attraction. It would basically be like building a theme park, but with no rides at all.

In all honesty, this kind of money would be better served to help support a Middle Earth theme park instead of a lifesize version of Minas Tirith. But again, it’s not likely that this project will meet its goal. As of this writing, the campaign has 43 days left with just over £78,000 raised of the £1.85 billion needed. Support the project right here if you dare!

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