The vanishing Viking longboat

It is Singapore's largest Lego mural and made it into the Singapore Book of Records, but what some shoppers and participants have been doing to it is, in contrast, nothing to be proud of.

The Viking ship mural at Marina Square was completed on Sunday, after four days, but some bricks of the mural were stolen when it was being built.

Ms Xylvie Wong, 32, the designer of the mural, said that bricks were not only stolen by participants, but parts of the mural were also plucked off.

"They would walk to the side of the mural even though it was cordoned off and just pull pieces out with their itchy fingers," she said.

"When they break it, they would say it's only Lego, you can piece it back. And these are adults, not children."

She added that when some participants were given the pieces to build, they would claim there were missing pieces.

"They would say this and this piece was missing, and we would have to give them extra pieces," she said.

"We didn't kick up a fuss because there's nothing much we can do."

Ms Wong said that she personally encountered four adults who plucked pieces from the mural.

"I got feedback from my staff that this happened throughout the four days that we were there.

"I personally confronted four of these adults and asked them what they were trying to do. And they would just walk away," she said.

She and her team of seven would then have to fix the mural.

"It's difficult to remove the pieces and they have to do it deliberately to take it out," she said.

"It's like going to a museum and then touching the pieces you aren't supposed to touch. I guess they just don't see it as a work of art."


How did she feel about such behaviour in front of children?

"It sets a bad example and it happens too often, but I'm past the anger part and I just try not to take it too hard."

Mr Hansen Khoo, 40, an event planner and Lego enthusiast who was at the event to help, said: "Some people can't keep their hands to themselves, but I wouldn't say it was malicious, just them being impolitely curious."

The father of two young children added that there was nothing they could have done with the stolen pieces and it was more of people just wanting to bring home a souvenir.

But he agreed that it does not set a good example for children.

"There was a couple who came by and the guy plucked a piece wanting to just pass it to his girlfriend," he said.

"They probably don't know that they are stealing in front of children."

Criminal lawyer Ravinderpal Singh from Kalco Law said taking the bricks and keeping them can be offences under the Penal Code.

"No matter how trivial the item, if it is the property of someone else, taking it can be considered theft, which carries a maximum jail term of three years or a fine," he said.

"It may also be considered an act of mischief, which carries a maximum jail term of one year or a fine."

He said that the police would look into it if a police report is filed.

But Miss Wong does not want to pursue the matter and hopes only that there will be fewer such incidents in future.

She said: "Luckily, we bought buffer pieces so the mural could still be completed.

"I just hope that we can educate people so that this doesn't happen so often next time."


Seven hundred people took four days to build Singapore's largest wall mural made of Lego bricks.

The record-setting mural, which measures 5.4m by 2.3m, was built with over 140,000 Lego bricks.

Ms Xylvie Wong, 32, the designer of the mural and owner of My Little Brick Shop, said the bricks took about three to four weeks to arrive. She and her staff then had to count and pack the bricks.

Shoppers at Marina Square participated in setting the record by each building parts of the design.

Each participant was given a Lego plate measuring 12.5cm by 12.5cm. They then had to fit 256 pieces of Lego on the plate according to a given design.

The 756 pre-designed plates were then fitted onto the wall at the Marina Square Central Atrium to form the mural.

It earned a place in the Singapore Book of Records.

The mural has since been moved to Westgate mall, where it will be on show for two weeks. It will then be taken apart and donated to several charities.

This article was first published on March 03, 2015.
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