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PHILADELPHIA – As officials prepare for Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia, people in Philadelphia can visit the Vatican — virtually.
A stunning Lego version of St. Peter's basilica and square is now on view at The Franklin Institute, the city's science museum.
The Rev. Bob Simon spent about 10 months building it with a half-million plastic bricks. The architectural feat includes a Lego pope figure on a balcony overlooking the crowd in the piazza.
Simon leads St. Catherine of Siena church in northeastern Pennsylvania. He plans to participate in the papal Mass in Philadelphia on Sept. 27.
The Vatican model is being displayed alongside two related exhibits. "The Art of the Brick" features Lego sculptures. "Vatican Splendors," which opens Saturday, includes treasured art and religious relics from the Holy See.