A giant recreation of Noah’s Ark could be moored in the River Thames during the London 2012 Olympics.
Johan Huibers, an eccentric Dutch Christian, has spent around £1 million building the “Ark” after dreaming about a great flood sweeping Holland. He saw the dream as a signal to spread God’s message.
The vessel is 450ft long and 75ft wide and will be stuffed with pairs of model animals, while an aviary with free-flying live birds will take up most of the enormous deck house.
Mr Huibers, 60, who is married, found the inspiration for the project 20 years ago but only started construction on the river at Dordrecht, near Rotterdam, three years ago, against the advice of his wife.
Twenty-five barges held together by a steel frame form the base of the ship, which also holds two conference rooms capable of hosting 1,500 people.
The timbers are Swedish pine, a choice Mr Huibers made because Noah, the Biblical Ark’s captain, was told by God to use “resin wood”.
Mr Huibers recently wrote to Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, to ask for permission to bring his Ark to London for the Olympic Games next summer and moor it in the capital.