The great ruined city of Pompeii comes to Sydney in 2015 – but not as you know it. The ancient settlement has been recreated entirely from bricks of Lego and will be on display, along with a host of other exhibitions, at Sydney University's Nicholson Museum from January. By hiring a vehicle from East Coast Car Rentals, you can pay a visit to Australia's oldest museum as well exploring her biggest city at the same time – why not make a weekend of it?
Lego recreates history
The Nicholson Museum has previously displayed such works as the Acropolis and the Colosseum, each built completely from Lego bricks. With these exhibitions proving massively popular, the museum has delved into the past once again and enlisted the constructing talents of Ryan McNaught, better known to Lego fans as 'The BrickMan.' The BrickMan is what's known as a Certified Lego Professional – there are only 13 in the world, and he's the only one in the Southern Hemisphere, based in Australia.
Now The BrickMan, fresh from his exploits recreating the aforementioned famous buildings, has turned his hand to Pompeii. He'll use over 100,000 Lego bricks to make the city and, intriguingly, will be a monument of two halves. One side of The BrickMan's masterpiece will show Pompeii as it is today – a desolate ruin practically untouched since Mount Vesuvius fatefully erupted in AD 79, burying the city under up six metres of ash. The other half shows Pompeii as it would have been almost 2,000 years ago, before the volcano blew – a prosperous, beautiful town full of life. It's not all just replica though – the Nicholson Museum has procured genuine artefacts from the Pompeii area which will be on display alongside the Lego model.
The Nicholson Museum are mixing fact and fiction with their new Pompeii exhibition – The BrickMan is known for his anachronistic style, so expect to see prog-rock heavyweights Pink Floyd play to an adoring crowd at the Amphitheatre (but don't hold your breath for any 17 minute guitar solos). Admiral of the Fleet, Pliny the Elder, who died in the aftermath of the eruption attempting to save others, is bound to make an appearance, as well as other historical figures such as Mozart.
An antique heritage
Of course, the Nicholson Museum is about far more than intricate Lego recreations of famous scenes. Mainly known as the oldest university museum in Australia, it's renowned for its enormous collection of rare, valuable antiques. The Nicholson Museum specialises in ancient art and displays fine pieces from the furthest reaches of the globe, as well as nearly 30,000 other artefacts and objects of everyday use.
Bringing the past to life
Bringing your children along to the Nicholson Museum is certainly encouraged, even though the institution is hardly the first place you'd have in mind when thinking of a fun day out. The Lego model is sure to enthrall your little ones as much as you and it can introduce them to the wonders of history that goes far beyond the means of dull textbooks. Once they've finished with the Pompeii model, they can go on to discover several of the the other exhibitions that are running alongside the Lego. 'Stitched, stuffed and studied' details the history of taxidermy in the 19th century, and don't children just love stuffed animals? '50 Objects, 50 Stories' features 50 objects, each with their own unique story to tell. These aren't the most valuable, the rarest or the prettiest items in the world – but they do all have their own fascinating history. A day out at the Nicholson Museum will be an intriguing encounter for all the family and, what's more, entry is completely free.