Photo: The Sydney Morning Herald
Ryan McNaught has heart. The certified LEGO builder recently installed his monumental toy replica of the Roman Colosseum at the Nicholson Museum in Melbourne, Australia. Commissioned by the University of Sydney, the piece was constructed of 200,000 LEGO "bricks", the majority of which went to bringing the 1-meter-tall Colosseum to life.
Interestingly, the iconic structure is presented as a collage of the completed amphitheater circa 80 AD and the ruined monument that now stands in its place. The pristine half, with its immaculate array of articulated arches and columns, is festooned with figures in period dress, perched on the tiered seating observing a gladiator fight. The other half of the model is riddled with crevices--spacing between the blocks meant to simulate the crumbling state of the Colosseum today, where tourists roam, eating gelato and snapping photos of cloak-and-helmeted actors.
All photos via Ryan McNaught
Some 60,000 blocks were needed to build the Colosseum's substructure, here filled--just as it was nearly two millennia ago--with soldiers, gladiators, beasts, and weaponry, while the adjacent Arch of Constantine is rendered in subtly colored bricks, with great pains taken to faithfully translating its sculptural figures and reliefs into the blocky medium. In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, McNaught described the work as "the most technically challenging thing I've ever built," going on to say that he "got a new appreciation for the Romans and how they made things. For me, the challenge of making something oval-shaped out of square bricks was mind-boggling.''