Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Lego Vatican

As Pope Francis arrives in the USA today, here's an interesting story about how interest in the Vatican and its prominent Number One resident is becoming more popular....
When Father Bob Simon was in 7th grade, he tried to build a replica of the Vatican out of red and blue Legos but it didn't look "anything like the real thing." Since his first attempt, he's "had it in his mind" that he would one day build a replica of the Vatican and St. Peter's Square. In September of 2014, he began building a replica ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia.
Fr Bob Simon with his masterpiece
"It took about ten months," said Simon, 50, a pastor at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Moscow, Pennsylvania. "I was buying bricks [Legos] for about two years before I started." Simon said he used nearly half a million Legos to complete the replica, which is on display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The replica features a mini figure of the pope waving to a crowd and an array of other figures from nuns with iPhones to robbers, characters with sombreros and Elvis.
"I wanted to show a lot of diversity," Simon said. "St. Peters Square is one of those places where people from all over the world come together." The piece, on display through February, will be shown alongside the 10,000 square foot Vatican Splendors display that opens at the Institute on Saturday. The replica and other Lego creations have brought "record crowds," this summer, according to Larry Dubinski, president & CEO of The Franklin Institute.

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