HONG KONG -- This city's three billionaire Kwok brothers have just the answer for the rising waters threatening the global economy: the world's first life-size replica of Noah's ark, built to biblical specifications off the coast of this recession-struck Chinese financial center.
The message in its 450-foot-long hull, its rooftop luxury hotel and 67 pairs of fiberglass animals: "The financial tsunami will be over," says Spencer Lu, the Kwoks' project director at Noah's Ark, which is opening soon.
The land-bound ark wasn't built in response to the current global turmoil; it has been in the planning for 17 years. But the financial storm provides a nice marketing hook for the Kwoks' ambitious project, which will probably need to lure visitors from beyond Hong Kong's city limits to be an economic success. It also ups the ante in the competition to build a big ark. Middle brother and ark champion Thomas Kwok insisted that it be constructed according to biblical specs, in part to distinguish it from one in the Netherlands that actually floats and boasts real farm animals but is just one-fifth the size of the biblical original.
Here's a slideshow of some other arks that have been built.