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World Briefs

Replica of Noah’s Ark built

A full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark has opened its doors to the public in The Netherlands.

Stormy weather could do nothing to dampen the good mood of its creator, Dutchman Johan Huibers. In fact, the rain was appropriate. In the Biblical story, God orders Noah to build a boat big enough to save animals and Noah’s family while earth was covered in an enormous flood.

Mr Huibers interpreted the description given in Genesis to build his ark. It measures a whopping 427 feet long, 95 feet across and 75 feet high.

The ark has received permission to receive up to 3,000 visitors a day.

Who is afraid of the water?

Some Britons will not take the plunge when it comes to holidays.

As many as 19 per cent of holidaymakers never swim or paddle in the sea, either at home or abroad, a survey by travel agent sunshine.co.uk found.

A total of 2,207 Britons over the age of 30 were polled. Of those refusing to take a dip, 21 per cent said they were afraid of or did not like the water.

As many as 13 per cent had never been abroad, nine per cent had never walked on a beach overseas and 14 per cent had never travelled by plane.

The average number of foreign countries visited was two, with Spain and France the most popular destinations.

Dickens’ home reopens

The former home of Charles Dickens reopened to the public yesterday after undergoing a €3.84 million revamp.

The Charles Dickens Museum, in Bloomsbury, London, was the family home of the 19th century genius between 1837 and 1839.

Visitors will be able to tour the house where he wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby and finished writing The Pickwick Papers, restored to its original condition.Visitors will be able to tour Dickens’s dining room and see Dickens’s marriage licence.

His original writing desk and his reading desk, which he designed himself, are among a series of items and documents on display.

The reopening comes in the year that marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Dickens in Portsmouth, Hampshire.

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