“A small town in southeastern Turkey, which claims to be the resting place of Noah’s famous vessel, hopes a few timbers from the Hollywood blockbuster could draw tourists to the historically rich region,” Thomas Seibert writes in an article published in The Daily Beast.
Authorities in Sirnak province say they want to bring the wooden structure representing the biblical ark in Russell Crowe’s recent movie Noah to Turkey and install it on the slopes of the local Mount Cudi to attract tourists. According to Islamic tradition, Noah’s ark came to rest on Mount Cudi, and not on Mount Ararat on today’s border between Turkey and Armenia, about 160 miles to the north-east of Sirnak.
The plan raised hopes of lifting the region out of poverty, but suffered a potentially fatal setback this week as officials from Paramount, the maker of Noah, said the ark from the film had been taken apart after shooting was done. “I’m pretty sure it’s been disassembled,” said Ari Handel, who was a producer and co-writer of the movie.
Still, authorities in Sirnak said they were determined to go ahead with the project, even if it meant to import just a few wooden parts from the set. “We will do everything we can to make it happen despite this,” Osman Gelis, the head of Sirnak’s Chamber of Trade and Industry, told The Daily Beast . “Maybe the government can do something.”
Now Sirnak is hoping that Crowe’s ark will generate some income for the province of around 85,000 people, which sits on Turkey’s borders with Syria and Iraq. Locals believe that Noah was buried in the town of Cizre, which lies in the province. An image of the ark is the province’s official symbol.