Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories. Follow @Rakewelltweets.
To Boone County, Kentucky, where God’s work is being done. The Creation Museum, the showpiece institution founded by Christian fundamentalist group Answers in Genesis, is looking to roll out the big guns.
The museum, which was founded in 2007 to promote the ante-Darwinian views of Answers in Genesis and affiliated Young Earth theory evangelists, is in the process of constructing what it claims will be a more-or-less exact replica of Noah’s Ark. Some 500 ft long and 85 ft wide*, this in no way over the top project will, according to AiG, be the world’s largest wooden structure. (While these dimensions might still prove a bit of a squeeze for a (strictly hetero) pair of every animal species in the world, they may just be large enough to float the Creation Museum’s petting zoo to safety come the flood.)
AiG was founded by Aussie expat Ken Ham in 1994, and now operates in countries across the Anglophone world. Ham himself is a man of, shall we say, outspoken views. In an interview last year, he appeared to blame homosexuals for the 9/11 attacks.
Yet it seems not even the Ark can contain Ham’s ambitions. The Creation Museum is currently lobbying local authorities to permit an expansion that will see its available exhibition space triple in size. According to Mike Zovath, co-founder of Answers in Genesis, the current premises simply don’t have enough room for travelling exhibitions. AiG wants to knock up an entire separate building of 210,000 sq. ft on the current site of the car park. Local residents, however, have objected to the plans, fearing that the new structure will have a deleterious impact on the rural surroundings.
How bathetic it seems that even the righteous mission of the Lord must deal with tawdry matters such as party walls and rights of way. The fundamental question, the Rake suggests, is this: did God have to get planning permission before he created the Earth? After all, that seven-day construction process must have been awfully disruptive.