EUROPE: GREAT BRITAIN: PLANS TO BUILD NOAH'S ARK FOR OLYMPICS
IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: A full-size replica of Noah's Ark, complete with robotic animals, could be a riverside attraction alongside the London Olympics this summer, if Mayor Boris Johnson give his permission to the scheme.
The Ark at Dordrecht
The man behind the project is Dutch construction engineer Johan Huibers. Some years ago he had a very vivid dream in which he saw Netherlands disappearing under an enormous mass of water, comparable with the tsunami in south-east Asia. The next day he came across a book about Noah's Ark - the remains of which are believed to be somewhere in Turkey. Mr Huibers said: "I thought it would be good to tell people about the story of the Ark in the Bible. It is a way of telling them there is a God. I am going to sail it up the Thames. It will be nice for British schoolchildren to visit."
Construction of the Ark started three years ago on the river at Dordrecht near Rotterdam and cost around £1 million. The vesserl is built on 25 steel barges drawn together to form a basin, with a heavy steel frame to keep it rigid. Two conference rooms can seat a total of 1,500 people. Mr Huibers said he used the same dimensions Noah is supposed to have used when building his vessel.
The Ark will be filled with pairs of model animals and an aviary with free-flying live birds will cover most of the deckhouse. The lower deck will feature moving animal models, including a robot lion.