An Israeli expat has recreated the world in a stunning miniature exhibition that lets you “visit” a host of landmarks around the globe – from the Brooklyn Bridge to The Pyramids – in a brand new 49,000-square-foot museum, at the heart of Times Square in New York City.
Founded and headed by Eiran Gazit, the recently inaugurated Gulliver’s Gate offers an interactive display representing regions of the world and famous landmarks, as well as moving trains, planes, wagons and people of the past and present. Israeli design firm Mahtov Designs was in charge of building the miniature model of the Middle East, including Jerusalem.
Overall, this “Lilliput” depicts scenes from New York City, Latin America, the Middle East, Europe, Russia and Asia. Landmarks include world wonders such as the Hoover Dam, the Parthenon, the Colosseum, the Panama Canal and the Great Wall of China.
“The closer you look, the more you see”
Gazit – the founder and first CEO of Mini Israel, a 14-acre miniature display of Israel located at a park outside Jerusalem – admits he loves miniatures and is fascinated by them. He also loves telling stories. “This enables us at Gulliver’s Gate to combine the two loves,” he tells NoCamels.
Moreover, Gulliver’s Gate provides an escape from the real world, which is “complicated, hectic and not always pleasant,” Gazit says. “In our miniature world, you are invited to relax, smile at impossible situations, and discover something new around every corner. Ours is a positive, Utopian interpretation of what the world could, should and would look like, if only there were no wars, or poverty, or calamity.”
The saying “the closer you look, the more you see” is true to Gazit’s project. “The miniature world allows us to examine the world in a way that we can’t in real life situations,” he tells NoCamels. “Scale provides an amazing perspective on how the world is built, what it looks like and the relationships we have with our environment.”
With over 30 years of experience, Gazit specializes in managing tourist destinations, hospitality venues and educational organizations. Born in Israel, Gazit moved to the US in 2005, and shortly thereafter became the co-owner of the Gateways Inn in Lenox, Mass. He co-founded Gulliver’s Gate with investor Michael Langer two years ago.
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Over the past couple of years, Gazit has overseen the work of several international teams working diligently to emulate several regions of the world. For example, the New York model, which was made in Brooklyn, took 16 people nearly a year to complete; the Middle East model was made in Jerusalem by 19 people over the course of four and a half months.
Make a miniature version of yourself
This brand-new, $40 million New York City attraction – which costs $36 to visit – also features a full-body scanner and a 3D printer to enable visitors to make miniature versions of themselves that can be taken home as a souvenir, or left behind as a permanent “model citizen” of Gulliver’s Gate.
All displays are scaled to a ratio of 1:87, the standard for miniature models. For example, a 6-foot tall person would be represented by a 0.8 inch figure.
“Gulliver’s Gate is the realization of a vision by over 600 artists and craftspeople from around the world,” says co-founder Michael Langer. “The model makers were tasked to create a world that best represents how they see the region they are from. They were also given a fair amount of latitude to impart their own personality and humor into the exhibit.”
What makes Gulliver’s Gate truly special to Gazit and Langer is the fact that “so many different artists from so many backgrounds and ethnicities came together to create a beautiful vision for the world to enjoy.”
Photos and video: Courtesy