‘Noah’s Ark’ Detained In Britain As It Cannot Provide Testament It Is A Boat


Image via Archer All Square / Shutterstock.com

The British government is playing God and detaining a replica of the biblical Noah’s ark, as it doesn’t believe the vessel is fit for sea.

The 21,528-square-foot Ark of Noah—touted as Europe’s first floating and traveling museum housing Bible-themed exhibits—made its stop at Ipswich, England in October 2019 after traveling from Denmark, Germany, and Norway, and has stayed there for more than the enduring 40 days and 40 nights stated in the holy book.

According to the New York Times, the ark was impounded by the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency in November 2019. However, the museum remained open in Ipswich until March 2020, which was when the pandemic kicked in.

Sir Aad Peters, the Dutch television and theater producer who owns the ark, has to prove that the vessel—which has no engine—can travel at sea. The structure is supported by a steel barge and must be towed to be transported elsewhere.

The museum said that Peters did not need to register the ark in the Netherlands as it is a “non-certified floating object.” Peters told VICE that the ark used to ferry live animals too, but they “caused too many problems.”

However, as it has neither certification for seaworthiness nor proof that its “coating, paint, surface treatment, surface or device” will not harm marine life, British authorities are unable to request an exemption from the Dutch government for the ark to return home.

The Ark of Noah has reportedly taken a financial blow from this detainment. Citing The Ipswich Star, the New York Times says that the museum has been fined over £12,000 (US$17,000) by the port of Ipswich, along with daily fines of £500 (US$708) since April 1, for obstructing the waterfront. The museum says the port will “substantially increase” the daily fines if the ark remains put.

Image via Archer All Square / Shutterstock.com

Image via Archer All Square / Shutterstock.com

[via The New York Times, images via Archer All Square / Shutterstock.com]

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