A man has built a replica of Noah’s Ark and plans to sail it up the Thames in time for the London 2012 Olympics.
Johan Huibers decided to build the copy of the ship after he dream in which a great flood swept through Holland around 20 years ago. The dream, said Mr Huibers, was a signal to spread God’s message.
“I saw the Netherlands disappearing under an enormous mass of water, comparable with the tsunami in south-east Asia,” Mr Huibers recalled. “The next day I found a book about Noah’s Ark in the local bookshop, and since then, my dream has been to build the Ark.”
Construction of the Ark started three years ago on the river at Dordrecht near Rotterdam and cost around £1 million. Mr Huibers used the same dimensions Noah is supposed to have used when building his vessel.
Mr Huibers has written to London Mayor Boris Johnson, asking if he can bring the Ark to London for the Olympic Games. He wants to moor it in the capital.
It would be her maiden voyage, 4,000 years after Noah’s Ark is said to have set sail.
The 450ft long, 75ft wide vessel is made from Swedish pine, chosen because God told Noah to use “resin wood”, according to the bible.
“It is to tell people that there is a Bible and that, when you open it, there is a God,” explained Mr Huibers. “I am going to sail it up the Thames. It will be nice for British schoolchildren to visit.”
She 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.