- The creation is on display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia ahead of the Pope’s visit to the city
- Lifelike model includes St. Peter’s Square, which is made up of about 44,000 Lego pieces resembling cobblestones
- The architectural feat has been based on a photograph from a book cover and includes Pope Francis on the balcony
A priest has prepared for the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia- by building a Lego model of the Vatican.
Father Bob Simon spent about 10 months building the St. Peter’s Basilica and Square with a half-million plastic bricks.
The creation is on display at the Franklin Institute as part of an exhibition which includes treasured art and religious relics from the Holy See.
It features a Lego pope figure on a balcony overlooking the crowd, a nun with a selfie stick and a bespectacled figurine of Rev. Simon.
The minister leads St. Catherine of Siena church in northeastern Pennsylvania and plans to participate in the papal Mass in Philadelphia later this month.
His architectural feat includes St. Peter’s Square, which is made up of about 44,000 Lego pieces resembling cobblestones.
‘It was daunting,’ he said. ‘It was an exercise in atience, and I was thrilled with the way everything came out.’
Rev Simon said he built his first, rather crude, Lego model of the Roman Catholic church’s headquarters when he was in seventh grade.
His most recent effort measures 14 feet by 6 feet and weighs about 100 pounds.
To create the model, Simon used an image from a book cover as a guide. He said the hardest part was creating the round basilica dome from square bricks.
His work is being displayed alongside two related exhibits. ‘The Art of the Brick’ features Lego sculptures and ‘Vatican Splendors,’ which opens on Saturday.
‘It’s amazing,’ said Larry Dubinski, president and CEO of The Franklin Institute, where the model is now on view in downtown Philadelphia. ‘People are in awe.’
The LEGO Vatican took the Reverend 10 months to produce. He used approximately half-a-million bricks to build the impressive replica
The Reverend Bob Simon poses with his representation of the St. Peter’s basilica and square, at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia
A LEGO pope figure stands on the famous balcony overlooking the crowd in the piazza in a Lego representation of the St. Peter’s basilica and square
A LEGO nun with a selfie-stick poses for a photograph in St Peter’s Square as crowds gather in this LEGO representation of the Vatican
Crowds gather outside the Vatican for mass at St Peter’s Square. Reverend Bob Simon spent months creating the replica in time for the Pope’s visit to Philidelphia
The LEGO depiction of St Peter’s Square and Basilica is on display at the Franklin Institute as part of an exhibition which includes treasured art and religious relics from the Holy See
Other religious figures form part of the reconstruction in LEGO of St Peter’s Square ahead of Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia and New York