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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 August 2006, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
Penguins moved as cameras roll
Ornamental penguins
The penguins have been a feature of the promenade for 10 years
A mercy mission with a difference has got under way to ensure the preservation of a colony of penguins.

The ornamental birds form a public artwork, which has been the centrepiece Redcar's esplanade for 10 years.

Now they are being moved from their static home so work can get underway to transform the area into wartime Dunkirk for a Hollywood film.

The birds, installed by the Great British Bollard Company, will be kept in a secret location during filming.

Oscar-nominated Keira Knightley is to star in the 36m film version of Ian McEwan's novel Atonement.

Out of place

Atonement is a story that spans the 1930s and 40s and recalls the drama of the Dunkirk evacuation.

Redcar and Cleveland Council, which is assisting production company Working Title Films, agreed the penguins would be out of place for the film.

The colony, along with street furniture, lighting columns, signposts and litter bins, are being removed for the duration of the filming.

The Dunkirk scenes will be filmed later this month.

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