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Monday, 26 August, 2002, 21:42 GMT 22:42 UK
Bulgaria to build a Noah's Ark
Assyrian image of swimming man
Archaeological evidence suggests a great flood
The famed Noah's Ark of Biblical times could re-emerge in Bulgaria as a tourist attraction, if a Bulgarian historian's ambitious project becomes reality.


Troy has its Trojan horse, Romania has Dracula - we will have our Noah's Ark

Nikolai Kanchev
Nikolai Kanchev said on Monday that the 112 metres (368 feet) long wooden vessel would be built at the Black Sea coastal resort of Slanchev Bryag.

"Of course, there will be pairs of the different animal species chosen once by Noah," he said, announcing the project.

The Black Sea is thought by some historians to have been where the Great Flood described in the Bible took place.

Biblical flood

In the biblical story, God flooded the earth to destroy sinners.

Only Noah and his family escaped the flood, by building a great wooden ark, and taking pairs of all the animal species in the world on board with them.

Last year the US explorer Robert Ballard- who discovered the remains of the sunken Titanic- led an expedition to the Black Sea to determine whether it had been the site of an early civilisation.

Some scientists have advanced the theory that an early society in this region of Bulgaria was submerged by the Black Sea in a flood some 7,600 years ago- giving rise to the story of the Great Flood in the Bible.

Searching for evidence

"We are looking for evidence of settlements where people had been living before the flood," Mr Ballard said last year.

"Flooding occurred all over the world 7,600 years ago, but this was the flood of floods."

Dancing bear
The ark will add to Bulgaria's tourist attractions
Other scientists have argued that Noah's Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat in Turkey, the highest mountain in the region.

The new ark is due to open in 2003, and will boast actors representing Noah and his family, as well as pairs of exotic animals.

"Troy has its Trojan horse, Romania has Dracula - we will have our Noah's Ark," Mr Kanchev told reporters.

See also:

08 Mar 02 | Country profiles
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