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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 08:33 GMT
Oscar statues on view in New York
Sir Anthony Hopkins
Sir Anthony Hopkins dropped into the exhibition
The newly-minted statuettes which will be handed out at the Academy Awards have gone on display in New York for the first time.

The 50 gold-plated trophies are being exhibited in Times Square.

British actor Sir Anthony Hopkins was among the first visitors to the exhibition. He won an Oscar in 1992 for Silence of the Lambs.

The statuettes will be on show until 1 February when they will travel to Los Angeles before the ceremony on 5 March.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is hoping to drum up interest in this year's awards with the unusual display.

Academy co-ordinator Randy Haberkamp said: "It's not something you see regularly, so unless you have an uncle or aunt or somebody who won one, chances are pretty slim you've seen one right up close."

Each statue is 13.5 inches tall and weighs eight pounds.

Costing $400 (224) each to make, they are made from steel alloy britannium which is then dipped in 24k gold plating.

"They're shinier and look better-made," said New Yorker Marcia Fokas, who had come to see the display.

"I think it's good they're coming to New York. Jaded New Yorkers take this in their stride because we see this kind of stuff all the time, but to out-of-towners, this would seem special."

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