'Noah's Ark' floating museum docks at Ipswich in first UK visit

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Image caption,
A replica of Noah's Ark is docked in Ipswich

A man who has brought his €3m (£2.6m) Noah's Ark replica to the UK said he wanted to create a "talking point" for people from all backgrounds.

The 70m-long (230ft) ship has been transformed into a floating museum housing wooden sculptures depicting Bible stories.

Creator Aad Peters said the ship, currently docked in Ipswich, was an "emotional and cultural" experience for visitors, not religious.

This is its first visit to the UK.

Image source, Bigship BV
Image caption,
The story of Adam and Eve is depicted in the museum

Stories including Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel as well as the nativity is scene are portrayed on the ship.

The exhibits are primarily made up of carved wooden sculptures with a 12m-high (39ft) "tree of life" which "grows" through the four levels at the centre point of the museum.

Natural materials have been used as much as possible inside the 2,000 sq m (21,528 sq ft) ship to create a better environment for visitors.

Image source, Bigship BV
Image caption,
Other scenes from the Bible are exhibited on the ark
Image source, Bigship BV
Image caption,
A "tree of life" runs through the centre of the ship

Peters, a Dutch TV and theatre producer, said: "We don't have screens to explain things. We want people to feel it, so it's walking through an emotional experience."

"Life is about storytelling, if you understand life it's easier to live", he said.

He bought the ark in 2010 and a team of 50 expert craftsmen took five months to create the museum, which is thought to be about half the size of the ark described in the Bible.

Image caption,
The story of Moses is another story depicted on the ark

He said he created the exhibit out of a belief that "if you know your own stories, it is easier to understand the culture of others."

The museum was self-funded and had no links to any religious organisations, he said.

The ark is expected to stay on the waterfront in Ipswich for up to three months and will be open seven days a week to visitors.

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