Peru comes to London: interview with Ben Fogle who recreated Machu Picchu with Lego
Ben Fogle brought Peru to Covent Garden this Tuesday as he laid the final brick on a 3.2 metres tall Lego model of Peru’s world-famous Machu Picchu.
The Lego model of the Inca site featured 250,000 Lego bricks and was built by five members of Bright Bricks in collaboration with the Peruvian tourist board PromPeru.
The event took place in the East Piazza of Covent Garden market and showcased Peruvian culture with music and dancers in traditional dresses, but the main attraction was Fogle laying the final brick on the Lego model.
As a TV presenter and adventurer, Fogle has been a huge fan of both Peru and Lego for many years. “Machu Picchu was the very first adventure I went on,” he told The Upcoming.
“I have always loved Lego, so the thought of being involved in a project to actually build Machu Picchu out of Lego just seemed like a fun, slightly daft, but suitable tribute to Machu Picchu,” he added.
Last year was 100 years since Machu Picchu’s rediscovery. Fogle said: “It’s really nice to bring a bit of Peru to Covent Garden, to give people an idea of just how magnificent it is.”
He continued: “However, it’s impossible for anyone in England to get a true sense of what Machu Picchu is really like from a Lego replica, but what it does here in Covent Garden is that it draws attention to this unbelievable site and the Lego connection I think we all have.”
Fogle has visited Peru around six or seven times and has made many friends and programmes there. He is fascinated by its culture, landscape and cuisine.
“It’s a really exciting location, it’s got everything you could possible want, from high mountains to the Machu Picchu and the jungle where I’ve spent a lot of time,” he said.
Further explaining his relationship with Lego, Fogle said: “I don’t know if it’s a boy/girl, male/female thing but as a child I loved Lego and the other day I actually fished out an old photograph of me as a young boy building a house.”
“Now the house was probably about 10 inches long and I was so proud of it, but it was only made of about 1,000 bricks so to suddenly make something out of a quarter million is fascinating.”
The Director of Bright Bricks Duncan Titmarsh said: “We now have great respect for the Incas who built the original site deep in the Andes and we were honoured to have Ben join us to lay the final brick.”
PromPeru also handed out “Willie’s Cacao” from Peru, where each chocolate bar featured a tag with information on how to enter a competition to win a holiday to Peru.
Pleased with the Peruvian chocolate bars, Fogle said: “I’m a huge fan of it and I’m probably going to eat far too much of it today.”
Line Elise Svanevik
Photos: Bartek Odias