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Dutch carpenter plans to sail Noah's Ark replica up Thames

London, Sun, 08 Jul 2012 ANI

London, July 8 (ANI): A Dutch Carpenter who spent three years and more than 1.03 million pounds constructing a life-size replica of Noah's Ark plans to sail it up Thames for London Olympics.

This feat of the true biblical proportions had been inspired by a dream Johan Huibers had 20 years ago, in which he saw part of his native Netherlands submerged in a flood like the one that was featured in the Book of Genesis, the Daily Mail reported.

According to MSNBC, the carpenter had been obsessed with bringing the story of the ark to life ever since, and in 2004 had built a half-scale version and floated it along the country's canals.

Tourists had flocked to see the smaller prototype when he had opened it to the public, but the proceeds from admissions had went straight back into funding his ambition to build a full-size ship.

The narrative of the ark, in which God commanded Noah to prepare for a great flood sent to purge the world of evil, specified that the boat was 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high.

He converted this ancient unit of measurement, which is based on the length of the forearm, to determine that his recreation had to be about 450ft long.

This puts the boat, which opened to the public on Monday and has been nicknamed 'Johan's Ark', at more than half the length of the Titanic.

And though it may not be able to shelter two of every animal, as the original story dictated, it could hold 1,500 people - along with a menagerie of life-size plastic creatures including giraffes, elephants and donkeys, as well as a few live chickens.

The boat weighs in at almost 3,000 tons and is made from Swedish pine reinforced with steel.

The boat has been docked in the western city of Dordrecht, where Huibers, the owner of a construction company, pieced it together with the help of some friends and two of his children.

In the 15th century, the city had been the site of one of the deadliest floods in history, named St Elizabeth's flood, an was thought to have claimed as many as 10,000 lives. (ANI)

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