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Last Updated: Sunday April 09 2006 12:13 GMT

LOTR statue in road safety debate

An artist's impression of the statue
A special Lord of the Rings sculpture planned for Birmingham is to be moved because road experts are worried it might distract drivers.

The 6m high statue of the character Treebeard, is a tribute to Rings author JRR Tolkien, who grew up in the Moseley Green area of the city.

The statue, by Tolkien's great-nephew Tim Tolkien, could now be placed among real trees if Birmingham council agree.

Mr Tolkien said the Treebeard tribute is about bringing forests back to town.

The Moseley area of Birmingham is said to have inspired some parts of Tolkien's stories.

Last year a nature reserve in the area was renamed The Shire Country Park, after the place where hobbits live in Middle Earth.

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