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The Smithsonian's Legos

As if watching your roommates interpret DIY assembly instructions for IKEA cabinets couldn't get any funnier, imagine a crew of Irving's finest assembling a 3,000-piece model of one of China's most famous displays of architecture. The Smithsonian Institute loaned Irving Arts Center its hand-carved, 9-foot-tall, one-to-five ratio model of the Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion found at the Imperial Garden in the Forbidden City in Beijing, which had to be assembled piece-by-painstaking-piece earlier this month to prepare for the unveiling this Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. The exhibition, Within the Emperor's Garden: The Ten Thousand Springs Pavilion, will feature hands-on activities including Tai Chi demos, calligraphy and lantern-making, as well as photographs and text panels, in English and Chinese, with information about the Imperial Garden and the construction of the model. The pavilion will remain at the Carpenter Lobby until June 30, 2010. Let's just hope there are no extra parts! The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit
July 12-June 30, 2009


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