While elaborate LEGO construction projects are nothing new to art and design, few of even the most painstaking works rival the recent, largest-ever LEGO model of Rome's famous Colosseum created by Australian Ryan 'Vitruvius' McNaught. The model, the centerpiece of an exhibition focused on the legendary monument now on view at Sydney’s Nicholson Museum, was (according to the museum) constructed using more than a quarter of a million bricks and “put together by 10,000 slaves.”
“Without doubt, [it’s] is one of the hardest things I have ever made, given its shape and detail requirements,” said McNaught, also known as “The Brickman,” who works on commission creating LEGO dioramas and artworks of varying size and complexity. “It’s a hell of a lot of bricks, and rather tedious and time-consuming to build, but it’s critical for the model to have its structure correct (much like the real thing). I can only imagine how skilled the craftsmen that worked on the original were!”
In planning his model of the iconic landmark, McNaught, a LEGO Certified Professional — one of only 13 in the world, and the only one in the Southern Hemisphere — didn’t want to settle for a “simple” reconstruction. Instead, he gave the building his customary cut-away treatment and split it into two time phases: current ruins of today, and from its initial opening in 80 A.D. Using at least 20 pounds of glue and enough LEGO bricks to keep any child entertained for several years, McNaught meticulously pieced together each element of the Roman scene, from the Arch of Constantine to the tiered seating of the arena.
The detailed model even pays homage to the pope, who can be seen riding in his very own LEGO “popemobile” flanked by LEGO security guards – just one of the many whimsical additions that contribute to the awe-inspiring effect of the incredible assemblage.
The monument has proved so overwhelmingly popular that the exhibit has now been extended through March, 2013.
To see images of the Colosseum, click through the slideshow.