Harry Potter wands to light up City of London

Breathtaking wands will light up Peter's Hill next month
Breathtaking wands will light up Peter's Hill next month

Preparations are underway for an installation of ‘magic wands’ – large-scale replicas of wands from the Harry Potter saga – lighting up a route from the school where Daniel Radcliffe who plays the wizard studied to St Paul’s Cathedral.

The nine 15ft fibreglass wands will go on display at St Peter’s Hill near the City of London Boys School next month. New details have been released about the display and children’s activities planned during the show.

Earlier this summer the City of London Corporation’s culture, heritage and arts committee approved the idea.

They are part of the Fantastic Beasts: Shine a Light installation, which aims to raise money for the Lumos children’s charity set up by Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

The charity was set up by the best-selling author in 2005  to help disadvantaged children and prevent them being institutionalised in orphanages.

Named after the light-giving spell in the novels, the charity operates in Europe, the USA and Haiti.

The 15ft fibreglass wands will illuminate the route between the Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral at  Queen Victoria Street from 6.45pm each evening October 18 to November 13.

In the report considered by the Corporation head of cultural and visitor development, Nick Bodger, said: “The global appeal of the Harry Potter universe offers the City a unique opportunity to capitalise on visitors to the wands to raise awareness of the City as a destination; the installation will also provide added value for visitors to the Lord Mayor’s Show.”

Announcing the installation Warner Brothers president and managing director in the UK, Spain and Eire, Josh Berger, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Lumos on this landmark installation, which is sure to delight fans and the tens of thousands of commuters and tourists passing through Peter’s Hill each day.”

There will also be Harry Potter themed events  including “Wizarding Wednesday” wand training and a live performance of music from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies.

The installation, which is part of the Corporation’s City Arts Initiative, comes before the launch of the latest movie Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald which opens in November.

Other public art displays in the City this summer include a sculpture trail of endangered black rhino to draw attention to the mammals’ threat from poaching.