Life-Sized Noah's Ark Opens in the Netherlands, Fails to Sail to London Olympics
By Ruth Miyake - Crossmap On July 30, 2012
A life-sized replica of Noah's Ark has finally become open to public in the Netherlands.
The giant boat was constructed by Dutch creationist and millionaire Johan Huibers according to the dimensions specified in the book of Genesis.
Having been completed a few weeks ago, it is now open to the public on the Merwede River in the Dutch town of Dordrecht.
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Huibers used the ancient measurement of the cubit, which is the length of a man's arm from the elbow to the fingertips.
The dimension of the completed ark is 300 cubits long (about 450 feet), 50 cubits wide (about 70 feet), and 30 cubits high (about 45 feet).
The ark, which cost four years and $1.6 million to build, comes with life-sized plastic animals and live birds, along with a theater and a conference room.
The ark will operate as a "Bible museum," said Huibers, whose goal is to point people to the Bible and God, according to The Christian Post.
"We want to tell people about God," Huibers told AFP.
"We wanted to build something that can help explain the Bible in real terms."
The initial idea for the project came 20 years ago, when Huibers dreamt of a flood in the Netherlands, according to Sky News.
"The next day I bought a book about Noah's Ark. That night while sitting on the couch with my kids, I looked at it and said: 'It's what we're going to do,'" Heibers told AFP.
"I have always been a dreamer."
The builder wanted to sail the ark to the London Olympics, but he had to give up the ambition of sailing across the North Sea after safety issues were raised.
"We would like to carry three thousand people on the boat (so) you can't say: 'We'll leave it like that'. You have (to clear) everything with the fire department, as it is all wood. It took such a long time that we had to skip the Olympics," said Deborah Venema-Huibers, manager of the Ark.
Dozens of people who are concerned about the Mayan prophecy of the doomsday in December 2012 reportedly contacted the builder, according to Venema-Huibers.
"They are concerned, and they ask: 'Is there a flood coming again? Is the world going to be destroyed again? Can we stay here and board, and can we book a room?'" she said.
"But of course we tell them, the real safety is not here. This is not a rescue boat. It's a museum."