Nicholson Museum's Lego colosseum spectacular
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One of the highlights of the July school holidays in Sydney this year has been a visit to the Nicholson Museum to see the Roman Colosseum and Arch of Constantine constructed entirely out of Lego.
Ryan McNaught, Australia’s only certified Lego builder, was commissioned by the museum to create the 250,000 brick model that shows the colosseum as it is now – a ruin and tourist attraction – and as it was in its heyday complete with gladiators fighting in the arena and prisoners in the catacombs below the sands.
“One of my favourite things about making Lego models is learning about the subjects before I build them,” says Ryan McNaught.
“I’ve really loved learning about the history of the Colosseum, how and why it was built and what life was like at the time. I'm hoping the model will get people interested in history and this period,” he says.
By early afternoon on the first day of the exhibition over 1000 people had attended the museum and joined in the fun of Archaeology Day in the Quadrangle where children got to speak with archaeologists, examine artefacts, test out replica weapons and armour and savour Greek food.
“The Colosseum is one the most enduring icons of the ancient world, and we're excited to re-imagine it for a new generation of historians, archaeologists, emperors and gladiators,” says Michael Turner, Senior Curator of the Nicholson Museum.
“We're hoping the colosseum will inspire people of all ages to take an interest in history and this fascinating civilisation. People have been playing with Lego for the last 50 years, so our exhibition will capture the imaginations of generations of children and parents,” he said.