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Build Lego UN Headquarters block by block

Friday, 4 October 2013, New York | DPI/UN Publications

On Friday September 20th, children from the United Nations International School, UN officials and media personnel were treated to a first look at the new large-scale LEGO replica of UN Headquarters in New York. SG Ban Ki-moon placed the final block of the UN flag to complete the model at an unveiling event in a New York hotel, attended Chairman of the LEGO Foundation, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, and Foundation CEO, Dr. Randa Grob-Zakhary. 

“As you know I’m not from the Lego generation, but my children have been enjoying playing with it. It really provides creativity for young children,” said the Secretary-General at the unveiling (YouTube video).

The replica, now on display at the Visitors Centre, is a larger version of the new UN Headquarters model kit that will be sold worldwide as part of LEGO’s Architecture Series. The model symbolizes the importance of play in education and is a fitting complement to the UN Children’s Tour, started earlier this year.

It took a team of 11 international architects and engineers and scores of construction workers about 4 years to construct the UN Headquarters complex, which was completed in 1952. The large scale replica, standing 10-feet tall and composed of 90,000 pieces, was put together by LEGO engineers from the Czech Republic in less than one week. 

The replica was dismantled and reassembled at the UN by this team who worked late into the night. 
Colleagues from the Department of Public Information worked closely with LEGO on this project and helped coordinate the delicate task of moving the model to its permanent location at the UN.

The model kit of UN Headquarters containing 597 pieces, is already a popular gift item at the UN Bookshop, located in the basement of the Dag Hammarskjold Library Building (L-1B-105). It is also available on the UN Bookshop website. More than 400 sets have already been sold. The holiday season is fast approaching and this set would make a great gift for children and adults alike. Don’t forget, UN staff get a discount at items purchased at the UN Bookshop.