The director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy is to establish a museum displaying props and costumes from the films.

The estate of author JRR Tolkien has said that a museum could only open while the three films were showing in cinemas but Jackson said he hoped there was "some way" to put the thousands of items on display for fans.

Nine hundred handmade suits of armour, hundreds of weapons and almost 50,000 other handmade objects, ranging from belt buckles to beer flagons were created by New Zealand craftspeople for the films.

'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring' opens worldwide tomorrow, December 19, with the two other films (shot back-to-back) due for release at the end of 2002 and 2003.