Spectacular Noah's Ark replica could extend its stay in Ipswich - as owner praises the town
PUBLISHED: 12:26 08 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:56 10 January 2020
© Stephen Waller
The owner of the replica Noah's Ark at Ipswich waterfront has praised the town's openness as he hopes to extend his stay.
It was originally expected to leave the town at the end of January, after three months.
But now, after seeing more than 10,000 people from around the country go aboard, it's owner, Aad Peters, said he is open to the idea of staying longer.
Mr Peters, a Dutch TV producer, said: "We still have so many schools and church groups who want to come and look around, so we are in talks with the harbour master and council about staying longer."
When asked if the numbers were higher than expected, Mr Peters said: "Well, what can you expect from the English?
"No, really, we always had high expectations for Ipswich as we know it is such an open place. We have felt really comfortable in our time here.
"The difference between Ipswich and the big cities we have visited like Cologne is that people here stop to take in the beauty of what's around them, instead of being to busy to look around."
You may also want to watch:
Mr Peters added his favourite memory of their stay so far was the arrival of Extinction Rebellion protestors on board the ship, who strung a banner saying "we need a better plan than this".
He said: "I loved it when the young people came, they kept apologising but I think it is a really good idea.
"The ark was built for the past, we really do need a better plan for the future given the current climate situation."
The ark has been no stranger to publicity since its arrival in the town, having been filmed for an episode of Songs of Praise during a visit from a local primary school, while crews from the documentary channel Discovery have also been on board.
Mr Peters said he hopes to show the ark to more places in the UK, adding: "One of the reasons I wanted to bring the ark here is to show England that we are one.
"It would be great to take it to London."
The ark will also be holding two business sustainability seminars on January 13 and 20 designed to help aid small local businesses.
As well as discussing greener economics, the seminars will also cover good health and wellbeing and gender equality, as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.