Brickwrecks: Sunken Ships in Lego Showcases Detailed Artistry


Sea of Shipwrecks in LEGO® bricks at Maritime Museum

Mysterious shipwrecks are brought to the surface in the new exhibition, bringing creative LEGO® brick models together with maritime archaeology and real objects recovered from shipwrecks, in a fun-filled family summer activity program.

LEGO® brick models created by Ryan ‘The Brickman’ McNaught replicate shipwrecked vessels and wreck sites from around the world in intriguing detail – including RMS Titanic, Swedish warship Vasa, Dutch trading vessel Batavia, HMS Pandora, the Barangaroo Boat – recently discovered during construction works for Sydney Metro – and many more.

Discover stories behind real shipwreck artefacts and underwater images, and deep-dive into a web experience featuring the museum’s maritime archaeologists.

Visitors can get hands-on with LEGO® building and augmented reality experiences, alongside a summer holidays activity program that includes shipwreck stories, maritime archaeology dig sites, ship model making, science experiments and a Minifigure™ kids’ museum trail.

Explore archaeology techniques, sink the Vasa, rebuild the portico from the Batavia wreck, pilot a remotely-operated-vehicle (ROV) beneath the ice to find the Erebus, see if you’d survive the Titanic sinking, clean oil pollution from a penguin and build your own LEGO® brick and DUPLO® models.

From the exhibition opening, museum model makers will progressively build the colossal LEGO® brick Titanic model, and there is a competition to win the Titanic LEGO® model set to build at home.

Museum Director and CEO Daryl Karp said ‘This new exhibition combines magnificently detailed LEGO models, with fascinating real-world objects from the National Collection, as we tell the stories of iconic shipwrecks from Australian waters and around the world.

‘This exhibition is all in the detail. Brickwrecks reveals incredible underwater discoveries from the world of maritime archaeology – including the work of the museum’s own team – with dynamic, hands-on learning experiences. We are proud to partner with the Western Australian Museum in presenting this exhibition.’

The featured wrecks include models of:

  • The oldest known shipwreck which sank off Uluburun, Turkey, around 1300 BCE
  • A Chinese ship that sank in 1323 near the Shinan islands, South Korea
  • Vasa, a Swedish warship that sank in 1628 in Stockholm harbour
  • Batavia, a Dutch trading vessel that sank in 1629 off the Houtman Abrolhos, Western Australia
  • HMS Pandora which wrecked in 1791 on the Great Barrier Reef whilst on its way to hunt down the Bounty mutineers
  • HMS Terror and HMS Erebus, both wrecked in 1848 off King William Island, Canada, whilst searching for the Northwest Passage through the Arctic
  • RMS Titanic, the luxury steamship that sank in the North Atlantic in 1912
  • MV Rena, the Liberian-flagged container ship that sank at Astrolabe Reef, New Zealand, in 2011
  • Barangaroo Boat, a nine-metre-long boat discovered during an archaeological survey before construction of a new Metro station at Barangaroo. Barangaroo is named after a powerful Cammeraygal leader of the Eora nation, who lived at the time of initial European colonisation of the place that is now Sydney.

Brickwrecks: Sunken ships in LEGO® bricks is a collaboration between the Western Australian Museum, the Australian National Maritime Museum and Ryan “The Brickman” McNaught, now open at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).



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