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Napoleon in Lego pieces for Waterloo anniversary

It’s an achievement that Napoleon himself might have been proud of: a huge tableau of the French emperor’s life made entirely out of 1.2 million Lego blocks.

The exhibition in the Belgian town of Waterloo marks the 200th anniversary of the famous battle which saw Napoleon defeated by British and Prussian forces.

Called “History in Bricks” it features scenes from Napoleon’s life up to the famous battle in 1815 plus a Lego replica of a painting and his famous tricorne hat.

“We wanted an event that would cross generations. Here even the youngest can look at these pieces of history and understand their origins, while having fun,” Eric Jousse, the curator of the exhibition, told AFP.

Historians checked each part of the exhibition to ensure its accuracy.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a giant model of Les Invalides, Napoleon’s final resting place in Paris, which required 274,000 bricks and took 1,000 hours to construct.

It stands 2.5 metres (about eight feet) high and weighs 500 kilos (1,100 pounds).

There are also key scenes from Napoleon’s life including his wedding, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the famous Lion’s Mound, the grass hill topped by a statue of a lion which was constructed at the site of the Battle of Waterloo.

It also features a giant reconstruction of the portrait “Napoleon Crossing the Alps” by the French painter Jacques-Louis David and a version of the distinctive black three-pointed cap that Napoleon wore.

“We wanted an exhibition dedicated to children that would also appeal to adults. It will be the perfect complement to the rest of the events for the bicentenary,” said Waterloo deputy mayor Yves Vander Cruysen.

A series of events including a commemorative ceremony and two days of battle reconstructions are scheduled around the anniversary of the battle on July 18.