Health Desk: 19 April 2018: The world's largest Lego replica of the doomed Titanic liner was built over 700 hours -- 11 months -- by a 10-year-old boy from Reykjavik, Iceland, who is on the autism spectrum.
It made its American debut Monday at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, CNN reports.
Brynjar Karl Bigisson, now 15, built the replica with 56,000 Lego bricks. It's 26 feet long and 5 feet tall.
Brynjar remembers playing with Legos for hours when he was 5. "I sometimes built from instructions, and sometimes, I used my own imagination," he told CNN.
At the time, he was obsessed with trains, but that changed when his grandfather Ludvik Ogmundsson took him fishing on a boat, sparking an interest in and appreciation for ships. By the time Brynjar was 10, he knew everything there was to know about the Titanic, the CNN report says.
"When I traveled with my mom to Legoland in Denmark and saw for the first time all the amazing big models of famous houses and planes, locations and ships, I probably then started to think about making my own Lego model. By the time I was 10, I started to think about building the Lego titanic model in a Lego man size," Brynjar said.
Brynjar says he was able to embrace his autism through building the Titanic replica.
Before starting the project, he had difficulty communicating, which he says made him unhappy and lonely. Now, he has confidence and is giving interviews about his accomplishment.
Brynjar's mother said that when she started raising her son, she felt totally blind as to what his future would look like because of his autism, and she worried about the obstacles that many children on the autism spectrum have to overcome. She is now proud to share with other parents of children on the autism spectrum that it is possible to achieve their goals.
The Lego replica was shipped from Iceland in three large pieces and then carefully reconstructed before its American debut. It will be anchored at the Titanic Museum Attraction through December 2019.