the view from on high / by Anthony Gibbins

If you are planning on reading the entirety of Claudia’s Pompeii visit (and I certainly hope that you are), the view from the plane may help you orientate yourself. In the very top left corner can be seen the Temple of Jupiter, the first major monument Claudia visits in the Forum. Down from that, with the open roof surrounded by four colonnades, is the Eumachia Building, about which we will have more to say. Unmissable with its checked tiles is the bath complex, which would not have been quite so open to the sky, and down from there is the theatre, in which Claudia will watch a play. In the bottom right hand corner, you can see a public swimming pool. To the right of this, but sadly out of picture, was the amphitheatre, in which the Pompeiians watched gladiator bouts and animal hunts. If you compare the model against a ground plan of Pompeii you will find that, despite some necessary liberties having been taken, the model is true to the layout of the ancient town.

Yesterday I arrived in Italy. Flying above Pompeii in an airplane, I was able to look down upon the entire most beautiful town.

The Lego model of Pompeii is housed in the Nicholson Museum of The University of Sydney, Australia. Entry to the museum is entirely free, and you may visit Monday to Friday between 10:00 and 4:30. The Nicholson is Australia’s oldest University museum and contains the largest collection of antiquities in the Southern Hemisphere.  

The Pompeii model was commissioned by the Nicholson and constructed by LEGO Professional Builder Ryan McNaught. It is the third such model the museum has exhibited, following the Colosseum and Acropolis.  The Colosseum was returned to McNaught and recently exhibited around Australia. The Acropolis was denoted by the Nicholson to the Acropolis Museum in Athens. The Pompeii model is estimated to include 190 000 bricks and took 420 hours to complete.