Vatican built from Legos on display in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ As they prepare for next week’s visit by Pope Francis, residents of Philadelphia can visit a replica of the Vatican built entirely out of Lego bricks.

The Vatican model is now on display at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia’s science museum.         The Rev. Bob Simon spent about 10 months building it, and used half-a-million Legos. His Lego Vatican includes a pope on a balcony overlooking the crowd in St. Peter’s Square. He said the toughest challenge was building the basilica’s curved dome out of Lego bricks.

Simon has been a Lego fan since he was a boy. He now serves as pastor at St. Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic church in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The model Vatican is being displayed alongside two related exhibits. “The Art of the Brick” features Lego sculptures. “Vatican Splendors,” which opens Saturday, includes treasured art and religious relics from the Holy See.

(C) WLNE-TV 2015 / AP