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Lego Brick Abbey Gate Arrives As Exhibition Visitors Top 10,000...

A Lego brick replica of Abbey Gate has gone on display at Moyse’s Hall Museum.

The 6,000 brick, 1:40 scale model, has taken around 90 hours to complete by independent Lego builder Rhys Knight, from Farnham, Surrey.

Mr Knight, who last month visited the town to deliver a Lego version of 12th Century Moyse’s Hall itself, arrived with his 34cm by 38cm by 54 cm Abbey Gate replica on Wednesday this week.

The Abbey Gate replica has been commissioned to coincide with town’s Brick City Lego brick exhibition, which since opening on January 16, has attracted more than 10,400 visitors, as well as over 1,000 children taking part in Lego brick workshops and events.

Cllr Joanna Rayner, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said: “The Lego brick Abbey Gate is a stunning recreation and I was delighted to receive it on behalf of the town. Mr Knight’s version of Moyse’s has already proven a popular attraction and I am in no doubt, Abbey Gate will be, too.

“With still a month to go, the Brick City exhibition has been a great success, bringing people together from across the town and region with a series of ongoing school workshops, building competitions and Lego-based events. 

“The visitor numbers not only illustrate the appeal of Lego itself but also what an excellent job the museum has done in building community, and particularly school events, around the celebrated exhibition’s first visit to East Anglia.  

“Both the exhibition and the Lego recreations are an ingenious way of helping to tell the story of our own town and explore our own history, in a global context.”

The Brick City touring exhibition is the work of renowned Lego brick artist Warren Elsmore and celebrates some of the world’s finest architecture, all recreated entirely in one of the world’s most famous building bricks. 

The exhibition is the first time Moyse’s Hall has linked up with the Touring Exhibitions Group (TEG), an independent network of galleries, museums, libraries, art and science centres which exchanges exhibitions as a means of sharing ideas, materials and resources.

Brick City features more than 60 models including landmarks and urban icons such as The Olympic Stadium, Washington’s Lincoln Memorial, The Reichstag, L’Arc de Triomphe and Rome’s Trevi Fountain, and events including the Rio Carnival, a Thanks Giving Parade in New York, and a Royal Wedding scene at Buckingham Palace. 

The centre piece is a 180,000 brick, 2ft wide by 4ft long recreation of St Pancras International Railway Station. 

Lego bricks have an ever-growing army of adult fans who view the bricks as an exciting and challenging modelling medium. Known as 'AFOLs', or Adult Fans of LEGO, they painstakingly recreate landmarks using just standard Lego bricks, the name of which derives from the Danish words, LEG GODT, meaning “play well”

On April 1 Moyse’s Hall will be holding a special competition for AFOLs as part of the Great Bury Brick Off - a public building competition, at which there will also be a licensed bar. A second round for young participants takes place in April 2.

Rhys Knight, who has been making Lego brick models for 40 years and whose work includes internal works of Durham Cathedral and a giant X-Wing for Hamley’s toy store in London, said:  “I have very much enjoyed making Abbey Gate and pleased to present it to the town. 

“As with Moyse’s Hall and all of its various architectural styles, making Lego models is always a fun challenge and the most testing aspect of this build was sourcing the correct parts to replicate the sandstone colour.

“Along with research into Abbey Gate’s construction, I also took many many photos on my last visit to build the model as faithfully as possible. I hope people like the result.”

Alex McWhirter, St Edmundsbury Borough Council Heritage Officer said: “The exhibition is a great way to celebrate the architecture of our town with all of its wonderful and diverse range of attractions. We have the Abbey Gardens, the museum, the Athenaeum, we have St Johns Street, the Cathedral, and even iconic modern buildings such as The Arc and The Apex. 

“From an educational point of view, the exhibition has also given us a chance to explore worldwide historical, geographical, art and design concepts we would not normally be able to do so and we are delighted so many people have been able to enjoy this through the use of this legendary Danish toy.”


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