Friends, Romans, LEGO men! Go back in time with LEGO at the Nicholson Museum

29 June 2012

Channel 7's Sunrise program did a live weather report from the Nicholson Museum's LEGO Colosseum exhibition on Tuesday 3 July. Watch the video above. The content of this video is not owned or endorsed by the University of Sydney.

The world's largest ever LEGO model of the Roman Colosseum and Arch of Constantine will bring history to life at a free exhibition at the University of Sydney's Nicholson Museum this July.

Built by the Southern Hemisphere's only registered LEGO builder, the model will accompany ancient Roman sculptures, coins and other artefacts in The Colosseum exhibition to give visitors a taste of life in 80AD, when the Colosseum opened.

"The Colosseum is one the most enduring icons of the ancient world, and we're excited to reimagine it for a new generation of historians, archaeologists, emperors and gladiators," says Michael Turner, Senior Curator of the Nicholson Museum.

"We're hoping The Colosseum will inspire people of all ages to take an interest in history and this fascinating civilisation. People have been playing with LEGO for the last 50 years, so our exhibition will capture the imaginations of generations of children and parents," he said.

The 250,000 brick model will be built as a cutaway, allowing visitors to see the famous tunnels and catacombs beneath the Colosseum. Half of the model will show life at the time of completion, with the other half depicting the Colosseum in its present state as one of Italy's major tourist attractions.

The Colosseum hosted gladiator combat battles and wild animal fights for audiences of up to 55,000 people after it first opened to the public. "One of my favourite things about making LEGO models is learning about the subjects before I build them," says Ryan McNaught, the LEGO Certified Professional currently building the model.

"I've really loved learning about the history of the Colosseum, how and why it was built and what life was like at the time. I'm hoping the model will get people interested in history and this period," he says.

A special opening on 1 July will feature recreations of life at the Colosseum, complete with Ancient Roman soldiers and gladiators and hands-on exhibits in the University's Quadrangle.

The LEGO model of the Colosseum is a must for the July school holidays.
The LEGO model of the Colosseum is a must for the July school holidays.

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