Priest Builds Lego Replica Of Vatican; On Display At Franklin Institute

By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As a segue between the Franklin Institute’s Art of the Brick exhibit and their Vatican Splendors exhibit, the museum now has a huge Lego replica of the Vatican on display in their atrium.

Father Bob Simon is a priest who dabbled in Legos. He recently completed a replica of The Vatican, now on display at the Franklin Institute.

“I think there’s about half a million pieces in it,” Father Simon says. “I’m not sure. I think there are about 44,000 cobblestones of the square, 6,000 round bricks that make up the colonnade and under the little cobblestones, there’s 12,000 2×2 tiles that are under there. I knew if I was going to build the Vatican, it had to be big!”

The project took him ten months to build.

“There was one photo in particular, it was a cover, a book jacket of a book I had that had a great picture of the facade,” he says. “I used that for doing the facade and I used Google Earth, as well.”

Father Simon says it’s a dream to have his work displayed in Philadelphia during the visit of Pope Francis.

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