By Afshan Ahmed

DUBAI – It took an army of workers and thousands of tonnes of material to erect the world tallest tower in Dubai, but Steven J. Backman managed to replicate it single-handedly in the US.

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa

All he needed was a workstation and, well, a toothpick!

At 1.75 inches and hardly any girth, it must be the smallest version of the tallest. “I made it look identical to the Burj Khalifa and believe this is the world’s smallest replica of the world’s tallest building,”

Backman said during an interview with Khaleej Times from the US it took him seven laborious hours, unaided by a magnifying glass, to reduce the 828-metre building down to the size of a toothpick.

The native of San Francisco, whose skill has been honed over 38 years, said he cut the toothpick into pieces with a razor blade and “meticulously pieced them”  together with glue.

“It is more challenging to make the smaller sculptures,” he said. He has also replicated other monuments like the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge.

The essence of patience drives him to create this kind of art and he believes the recognition for his work has paved the way for him into the world of art.

Backman, who hopes to visit the ‘actual’ Burj Khalifa in the coming weeks, says, “If I get the opportunity, I would like to create the portrait of the Ruler of Dubai.”