A filmmaker has brought a replica of the famous vessel constructed by Noah and his family out of the pages of the Bible and onto the shores of Germany--but visitors should not expect to encounter a biblically-accurate presentation of the narrative found in the book of Genesis.
Whether familiar with the biblical account or not, visitors who step onto the cedar and pine vessel purchased by Aad Peters can expect to see a modern, interpretive spin of Peters' presentation of the ark, which is docked on the shores the Rhine River in Cologne.
In addition to the numerous creatures--most of them stuffed--visitors can expect to get a good look at Noah, perched on a scooter, and his wife with two birds inexplicably perched on her chest.
Also housed in the ark are displays relating other biblical narratives, such as Adam and Eve in their nude state, an interactive display of David and Goliath in confrontation, and a scene portraying King Solomon and his 1,000 wives.
The museum attracts Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, as well as Christians, Peters said, and his whole artistic approach is really meant to stimulate conversation.
The Christian filmmaker, who purchased the four-story replica of Noah's Ark about a year ago and turned it into a museum and amusement park, said he also hopes to teach visitors a thing or two about Scripture.
"The Bible is an interesting book, even for people who have never read it," Peters told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. "Everyone should be familiar with its stories."
Visitors are quizzed on their knowledge of Scripture and given access to a room full of Bibles below deck where they can review the story of the flood for themselves.
One Protestant pastor asked for his take on the ark noted the lack of "theological subtleties" but added that it was still "impressive for young people and a good way for them to get a glimpse of Christian traditions and culture."
This is not the first time, of course, that a replica of Noah's Ark has been adapted or portrayed for public consumption.
An amusement park tailored around the biblical account of Noah and the flood opened in Hong Kong in 2009. The project was supported by a local evangelical Christian group.
Americans can expect to get a full-blown, close-up view of the ark in a few years when the folks at Answers in Genesis debut the Ark Encounter, an historically-themed attraction park, in Kentucky in a few years.
Answers in Genesis, a Christian apologetics ministry, is also the same group behind the Creation Museum, another Kentucky attraction meant to bring the stories of the Bible to life.
The ark museum and amusement park in Germany was constructed over a period of two years by Christian Dutchman Johan Huibers. This ark is about 230 feet long, 46 feet high, 33 feet wide, and about 22,000 square feet.