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Durham Lego model is not child’s play

17 May 2013

SHUTTERSTOCK

DURHAM Cathedral is looking for adult volunteers to train in using Lego bricks.

They will help in a £1-million fund-raising campaign by constructing a model of the cathedral, roughly the size of a car, using 100,000 Lego bricks. Each £1 donated "buys" a brick, which the "builders" will add to the model.

The appeal for cash is part of the ongoing Open Treasure project, one of the biggest undertaken at the cathedral for decades. It will go towards the £10-million cost of opening up parts of the cathedral - including the Monks' Dormitory and the Great Kitchen - to create an exhibition space for items such as the relics of St Cuthbert and Saxon manuscripts currently held in storage.

Lego briefing sessions will be held at the cathedral on 20 May, when volunteers, who must be aged 18 or over, will learn about the task. A spokesman said: "No experience of Lego building is required. However, if you are already an enthusiast for Lego, or model-making, your skills will be fully utilised. If you would like to get involved, but not sure if your Lego-building skills are up to it, please still get in touch.

"Training will be given, and there will be regular visits by a Lego expert to make sure the build goes according to plan."

 

The cathedral has already secured several grants towards the cost of the Open Treasure project, and the Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed in principle to a £3.5 million donation, pending a detailed, second-stage application.

The architect and television presenter George Clarke, who was born in Sunderland, will act as an advocate for the project. He says that the cathedral is his favourite building, and the reason he became an architect. He recalls visiting as a seven-year-old, and using any excuse to return. It even inspired his university dissertation on stained-glass windows. "The cathedral is the north-east's biggest asset. I love the building - and I'm a massive fan of Lego," he says.

The Dean of Durham, the Very Revd Michael Sadgrove, said that Open Treasure was, in monetary terms, one of the cathedral's biggest redevelopment projects of the last half-century.

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