THE city’s science museum was hosting a blockbuster exhibit of Lego sculptures and preparing to unveil a huge display of Holy See treasures for the pope’s upcoming visit when administrators got a serendipitous inquiry.
Would they like to see a model of the Vatican that a priest built entirely of Legos?
“It’s amazing,” said Larry Dubinski, president and CEO of The Franklin Institute, where the plastic brick structure is now on view in downtown Philadelphia. “People are in awe.”
The Rev. Bob Simon spent about 10 months constructing a mini St. Peter’s Basilica out of a half-million Legos. His architectural feat includes a Lego pope on a balcony overlooking the crowd in St. Peter’s Square, which itself is made up of about 44,000 Lego pieces resembling cobblestones.
A colorful cast of Lego characters populates the piazza, including a nun with a selfie stick and a bespectacled figurine of Simon. All told, the display measures 14 feet by 6 feet and weighs about 100 pounds.
“It was daunting,” said Simon. “It was an exercise in patience, and I was thrilled with the way everything came out.”
There are no plans for Pope Francis to see the Lego Vatican while he’s in Philadelphia this weekend. But Simon hopes to see the pontiff: He will participate in the papal Mass on Sept. 27. (AP)