Lonely Planet Writer

Giant Harry Potter wands to shine on St Paul's Cathedral for a month

Magic is sweeping through central London as a new Harry Potter light installation illuminates St Peter’s Hill. Nine giant wands line the walkway between Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral to shine a light on a special cause.

‘Fantastic Beasts: Wizarding World Wands supporting Lumos’ wand installation lights up St Peter’s Hill in London. Image by Warner Bros

The 15-foot-tall wands are part of a new installation from the City of London Arts Initiative for public art. It was created to raise awareness for J.K. Rowling’s international children’s charity Lumos, which seeks to end the harmful institutionalisation of children around the world. The wands will light up every evening from 6.45pm and will perform a twinkling display for 30 minutes before switching off at 10.45pm.

The installation will run until 13 November and comes ahead of the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second film in the Harry Potter spin-off franchise. A series of events will also take place every “Wizarding Wednesday,” including a spell-casting workshop, a wand demonstration (with a particular focus on the dark arts) and a live performance of music from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films by a military marching band.

Head prop-maker Pierre Bohanna, who created the wands used in the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, was delighted to see his work transformed into giant public displays. “It’s amazing to see something you’ve worked on for two decades celebrated in such an awe-inspiring way,” he said. “Each of these wands were born in the extraordinary imagination of J.K. Rowling, and bringing them to life has been a labour of love for Stuart Craig (production designer), myself, and all the filmmakers, artists and actors who’ve had a hand in their creation for the films. To now see them realised in truly larger-than-life fashion for fans to enjoy is truly gratifying.”

Josh Berger, president and managing director of Warner Bros Entertainment UK, Ireland and Spain, and president of Harry Potter global franchise development, 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.”

A muggle celebrates ‘Fantastic Beasts: Wizarding World Wands supporting Lumos’. Image by Warner Bros

Mr Berger added that the initiative “is emblematic of this unique relationship, celebrating the magic of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts here in London while raising awareness for the vital work being done by Lumos on behalf of some of the world’s most vulnerable children”.

Lumos was set up by J.K. Rowling in 2005 to support the eight million children living in orphanages and other institutions worldwide.  The charity tackles the root causes of family separation – poverty, trafficking and discrimination – and works to reunite families.

A limited edition wand pin badge that will be sold to the public to raise vital funds for Lumos’ work. For more information, or to purchase the exclusive pin badge, which features Newt Scamander’s wand and the Occamy serpent, see here.