Artist Liz Glynn and her assistants built a small model of Rome in a day from cardboard and wood at New York's New Museum. And then destroyed it. From Archaeology magazine:
What inspired you to rebuild Rome?
The truism "Rome wasn't built in a day" was being used a lot in political contexts, in relation to Iraq–the Iraqi reconstruction–and also the challenges of rebuilding New Orleans. I was interested in proving that it could be done and shifting the scale so that this massive period in history became accessible in a really hands-on way. I took upending the truism as a challenge and set out to see what that would involve. It was an experiment at first. I didn't really know what would happen.
How'd the experiment turn out?
It can be done! It's really a question of scale. I tried to do it once with very minimal research, but when I just started looking into the history of Roman architecture and how "empire" was really manifest in the buildings, and the cycle of building, I found that you could trace many aspects of the political and military history of Rome. They were really rendered directly in the architecture. For me, it became an interesting way to look at all these issues of empire in a physical form.
"Rome WAS Built in a Day!" (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!)