Carpenter Who Built Life-Size Replica Of Noah's Ark Now Wants To Sail To Israel
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Sixty-year-old Dutch carpenter Johan Huibers spent four years and $1.6 million (more than a million quid) crafting the boat, which also has some life-size wooden animals including a giraffe and gorilla.
The vessel has, understandably, become a tourist attraction in Dordrecht, Holland; but now, Johan has revealed his plans to bugger off to Israel on his ark and is hoping to get a hefty amount in donations to help him.
Speaking to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, he said: "My preferred destination for the ark is Israel." Before adding that he'd read the bible 'cover to cover'. Why bother, mate? Could have just stopped at the bit in the Old Testament where Noah gets a mention.
"This is a copy of God's ship," he explained. "It only makes sense to take it to God's land."
So, if he's so keen on leaving, why doesn't he just go then? I hear you ask, well...the ark that Johan built has no motors; meaning he's hoping that some generous people will be willing to donate $1.3 million he can use to hire some tugboats as well as cover the cost of other various travel expenses.
Speaking about choosing to visit Israel he told JTA: "I love the land, I love the country, I love the people. They don't obey, they do what they want, they drive like mad, shove while waiting in line and don't listen to anyone. Just like me."
In its current form, Johan's ark is popular with visitors, with hundreds of thousands of tourists making the journey to explore the massive boat, which is longer than a football pitch and has five floors.
Johan says he built the ark as an attempt to 'show people that God exists', and that he wanted 'children to come here and feel the texture of the wood, see the nails and see that is written in the book is true'.
But he's also keen to show people that the world is changing, adding: "It's meant to educate, a reminder that our world is changing, will continue to change, as we see now because of global warming, rising sea levels, fires."
He's previously attempted to raise cash to set sale for Brazil, hoping to make it in time for the Rio 2018 Olympic Games, but wasn't able to raise enough cash to get himself afloat. Maybe this time, eh?