Rev Bob Simon found an interesting way to combine two of his lifelong passions when he built a replica of the Vatican in time for the Papal visit to the U.S.
It took Simon approximately 10 months to make the mini St. Peter's Basilica out of a half-million Legos. The detailed model, measuring 14 feet by 6 feet and weighing about 100 pounds, incorporates St. Peter's Square and is made up of about 44,000 Lego pieces resembling cobblestones, a Lego pope on a balcony overlooking the crowd and Lego characters in the piazza, including a bespectacled figurine of Simon and a nun with a selfie stick.
"It's amazing. People are in awe," said Larry Dubinski, president and CEO of The Franklin Institute, where the model is now on view in Philadelphia, reported the Associated Press. Simon's creation is displayed along with "The Art of the Brick," an exhibit of Lego sculptures, and "Vatican Splendors," which opens Saturday.
"I think there's about half a million pieces in it. I'm not sure. I think there are about 44,000 cobblestones of the square, 6,000 round bricks that make up the colonnade and under the little cobblestones, there's 12,000 2×2 tiles that are under there. I knew if I was going to build the Vatican, it had to be big! There was one photo in particular it was a cover, a book jacket of a book I had that had a great picture of the façade. I used that for doing the facade and I used Google Earth, as well," said Simon, explaining his endeavor, according to CBS.
"It took about ten months. I was buying bricks for about two years before I started," Simon said, reported CBC.
Simon has always loved Lego and made his first Vatican in Grade 7. The Pope has no plans to visit the exhibition.