Their success may be about as likely as Frodo managing to toss the Ring into the crack of doom, but some brave architects are pressing ahead anyway with a campaign to crowd-source $2.9bn to create a life size replica of Peter Jackson’s depiction of Minas Tirith (pictured), from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Minas Tirith is the attractively towering city that comes under attack from the bad guys in the climax of Peter Jackson’s film.
Giving themselves only 60 days to raise the vast sum for a unique property and tourism venture in the south of England, the group, led by Jonathan Wilson, admits that the venture has "virtually no chance of succeeding".
Then again, like Frodo, they just might come through: As of today the campaign has raised nearly $75,000.
"We all share a love of Tolkien’s work," said Wilson, "and a desire to challenge the common perception of community and architecture.
"We aim to create both residential and commercial properties, allowing for sustainable growth and a high quality of life."
The vast majority of $2.9bn budget will cover building costs, $23m will go towards land, $293m for labour and $2.2bn for material.
The remainder of the money will be invested in maintenance and public services until 2053.
Donating $780 to the campaign will buy you a night at one of Minas Tirith’s 300 two-star lodgings, while $156,000 will make you a lord or lady of Minas Tirith, granting access to most areas of the city and use of horse-drawn carriage.
Two locations are being considered, both in southern England.
Le Mont-Saint-Mian in Normandy, France (Wikipedia)
Le Mont-Saint-Mian (pictured), an island commune in Normandy, France was the inspiration for the design of Peter Jackson’s Minas Tirith in the Lord of the Rings films.
If the project is successfully funded work on Minas Tirith will begin by the end of 2016, and completed by the end of 2023.
If the funding goal is not reached "all pledges will be cancelled." It needs to raise the full $2.9bn by the 30th of September.
Support the project here.