Wednesday, January 15, 2014


LOOK deep into the enormous Lego Acropolis in Sydney, Australia, and you'll see a tiny amphitheatre in which a Lego Oedipus is stabbing his eyes out with a sword.

Lego blood spills all over the stage. An audience of Lego mini figures looks on, aghast.

''It's a performance of Oedipus Rex,'' explains Michael Turner, the museum's senior curator. ''It's the perfect show for the Theatre of Dionysus and the audience looks like it's having a wild time.''

The Lego Acropolis is on exhibit at the Nicholson Museum at Sydney University. Built by Lego-certified professional Ryan McNaught, the Lego Acropolis contains more than 120,000 bricks and took about 300 hours to build.

The buildings, including The Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, the smaller Erechtheion temple and the Propylaia, the monumental gateway, are made from gleaming white bricks.

''The model is as close to the real Acropolis as I could make it,'' he says. ''It's not an architectural scale model; it's more of a representation. The hardest parts were working out how to do all the diagonal lines.''

The Nicholson Museum, in Sydney University's quadrangle, is Australia's largest museum of antiquities and fast developing a reputation as one of the most innovative museums of its type for its integration of the ancient and contemporary world. 

Last year, more than 90,000 visitors viewed the Lego Colosseum, an increase of 25,000 people on the previous 12 months. Next year, the museum is planning a Lego Pompeii.

''Models have always been a part of classical collections, ever since the days of cork models in the 17th and 18th centuries, and later, the plaster of Paris models,'' Turner says. ''The fact that this model is made of Lego simply reflects the appeal and popularity of today's great modelling material.

''Such is the appeal of Lego that many people who would never normally visit a museum of antiquities are now being exposed to ancient culture. They come to see Lego, they walk out having seen Egyptian mummies, warriors' helmets, pictures of Hercules and other heroes on Greek pots as well.''

The Lego Acropolis includes ancient and modern details, some accurate and others hilarious.

1 comment:

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