Belfast pilgrimage for boy who made giant Titanic out of Lego
An Icelandic boy with a big imagination has had his dream of visiting Belfast come true after he created a replica of Titanic using 56,000 Lego bricks.
When Brynjar Karl from Reykjavik watched YouTube clips about Titanic he decided he must visit the city where the world famous vessel was built.
The 12-year-old studied the doomed liner's history and then spent 11 months making a six-metre model from the building blocks with help from his family.
Brynjar, who hopes to be a cruise ship captain when he is older, was given VIP treatment at the Titanic Belfast visitor attraction yesterday, exploring the drawing offices and slipways where the ship was built.
"It is very beautiful here," he said. "I liked trains, but watched YouTube and when I saw the history of Titanic it got into me.
"I was like 'wow, this ship is very cool' and I learned every day about it. I just wanted to discover more than trains and that was Titanic."
Brynjar told the Belfast Telegraph he was using his visit to encourage other children with autism to feel confident about themselves and talking about the condition, which affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour.
"Some people are scared of their autism and what it will do to the family," he said. "It is okay having autism. It is a special gift.
"When you do things over and over again you get really good at it. I have been building Lego ever since I can remember and I have become a talented builder."
Brynjar's mother Bjarney Luoviksdottir, a producer and filmmaker, has documented his journey and says the Lego project has seen him grow in confidence and that a visit to Titanic Belfast was "a reward for all his hard work".
Titanic Belfast chief executive Tim Husbands described Brynjar's story as "an inspiration".
"It highlights again Titanic's enduring appeal and its ability to capture hearts and minds throughout the world," said Mr Husbands.
Brynjar's Lego model was showcased in Smaralind shopping mall in Iceland, but is currently aboard a ship and will soon be heading to Sweden to be displayed there.
It is hoped Titanic Belfast will host his Lego model at some stage in the future.