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LEGO Acropolis at Nicholson Museum

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by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
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FREE Lego event for young and old
The Acropolis just before leaving Ryan McNaugh's Melbourne workroom. Image from his site the Brickman

The Senior Curator of the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney remembers being taken to the British Museum as a child and being totally fascinated by all the ancient relics.

But Michael Taylor also has a healthy respect for today's children, who are far more visual, and perhaps not so attracted to the musty dusty relics of distant antiquity.

So he has been instrumental behind two important LEGO exhibitions that have been raking in the crowds. Last year it was a huge LEGO Colosseum which attracted 80,000 visitors.

Image from Nicholson Museum

This year it is another gigantic LEGO model; this time the Acropolis that famous ancient citadel situated high on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city of Athens.

Both exhibits were built by Australia's only LEGO Certified Professional, Ryan McNaught, who lives in Melbourne. It took Ryan 300 hours and over 120,000 LEGO bricks to build the Acropolis for this display.

Kids will love looking at the amazing detail. Get them to spot Elton John playing at this piano. Not as strange as it seems as Elton John played a gig at the Acropolis in 2000. They may be able to spot a little LEGO Lord Elgin stealing the marble statues from the Parthenon and a LEGO Theseus in the labyrinth facing a LEGO minotaur. Or even even more contemporary reference they should be able to spot a LEGO Tony Mokbel in a rather suspicious looking wig.

From Nicholson Museum Facebook

The Nicholson Museum is apparently the only museum in Australia to have signed up to the manifesto of 'Kids in Museums', an organisation that openly encourages children to visit museums.

The manifesto believes museums should be a comfy place for children and families where the word "ssshhhush" just isn't in the staff's vocabulary.

The exhibition also feature ancient Greek archaeological artefacts including sculpture, pottery, and original 1890s photographs of the Acropolis.

The museum which was founded in 1860 is home to the largest collection of antiquities in the Southern Hemisphere.

But what Michael Taylor is counting on and what is bound to happen is that the kids will also become fascinated with everything else in the Nicholson Museum, especially the Egyptian mummies.

You never know your excursion might just be the start off the career of another budding archaeologist.

If not it will certainly pave the way to lots of interests you can explore with your child, including Greek Legends and ancient civilisations.

Oh, and look out for LEGO Pompeii at the Nicholson Museum in 2014.

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Why? Because LEGO makes antiquity fun.
When: Monday to Friday, 10am 4.30pm
First Saturday of each month, 12 noon 4pm
Closed: Every other Saturday, Sundays and public holidays
Phone: 61 2 9351 2812
Where: Nicholson Museum, southern entrance of the Quadrangle, Camperdown Campus
Cost: FREE
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