Cambridgeshire

Lego model of Cambridge classicist Prof Mary Beard created

Lego model of Prof Mary Beard Image copyright Liam D Jensen
Image caption Prof Mary Beard described her Lego "self" as "one of the most flattering tributes I have ever had"

A Lego model of classicist and TV presenter Prof Mary Beard has been created to celebrate the work of the Cambridge University academic.

The model, which uses genuine Lego parts, was made by Liam D Jensen - a historical archivist from Australia.

Mr Jensen has created a number of models of classical academics, but his latest took about 18 months as she was "particularly tricky" to get right.

He sent the model to Prof Beard, who said she was "very flattered".

The Lego hobbyist runs a Facebook site called Lego Classicists, and a Twitter feed from his Sydney home, showcasing his creations.

They are not for sale and he only creates one-off models which he sends to the academics.

Image caption Prof Mary Beard is credited with popularising classical history through her many TV programmes and books

He has made 50 so far, including Prof Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, another Cambridge classicist, and Getty Museum director, archaeologist Dr Timothy Potts.

Image copyright Liam D Jensen
Image caption Mr Jensen has made about 50 models in all - at the front here is Dr Timothy Potts, of the Getty Museum
Image copyright Dr Craig Barker
Image caption Prof Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, from Cambridge University, introduced his model as "the real Prof Wallace-Hadrill"

"When I make a figure, the main question I ask is, 'What would the person I see look like in a world made of Lego?', not 'How would I make a Lego figure look like the person?', as these are two completely different realities," Mr Jensen said.

Image copyright Liam D Jensen
Image caption Liam D Jensen creates his characters under the name Lego Classicists on social media sites

Prof Beard took a while to perfect as he does it in his spare time.

Also, she was "particularly tricky to get just right" as she is "visually unique and surprisingly subtle", he added.

Prof Beard's Cambridge college, Newnham, took to Twitter to ask: "Hands-up who wants a Lego version of Newnham's @wmarybeard?"

The Shropshire-born professor replied: "I'd buy a couple (she says a bit vainly!)."

Comments from fans include "awesome", "random" and "I want one".

Mr Jensen's Lego Mary Beard is the second time the classicist has been immortalised in toy brick form.

She also featured in a Lego version of Pompeii, at the Nicholson Museum in Sydney, Australia.

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