Builder of Noah's Ark theme park uses billboards to fire back at - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Builder of Noah's Ark theme park uses billboards to fire back at critics

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Before it launches a full-size replica of Noah's Ark, the builder of the controversial project is launching a new ad campaign.

Answers in Genesis, the organization that built the Creation Museum in Petersburg, and is now behind the Ark Encounter theme park, says it's trying to clear up misinformation about the project.

Mike Looy, the cofounder of Answers in Genesis, says anti-Christian groups are trying to sink the Ark Encounter project.

"And unfortunately, they're resorting to misinformation and blatant untruths to try and undermine this project," said Looy.

That's why Answers in Genesis says it's purchased billboards in Louisville, Lexington, northern Kentucky, and Frankfort. A digital display goes up Wednesday in New York's Times Square.

The signs point viewers to the Answers in Genesis website.

"So they discover the truth for themselves and find out, for example, that taxpayer money is not being used to build the ark. That's probably myth #1," said Looy.

Some have expressed concern that the Ark Encounter has requested state incentives in the form of a partial refund of the sales taxes the project collects.

"This is going to be a taxpayer-funded ministry. And it's the ministry part of it and the taxpayer funding part of it that we don't want mixed together," Ed Hensley of the Louisville Atheists and Freethinkers Society told WDRB in July.

The head of the Tourism Cabinet says those tax incentives will not be approved if the Ark park discriminates in its hiring practices.

Looy says that's another of the myths it's trying to dispel.

"We're still working on our hiring policies. The ark is about two years away from opening, but I assure you, we're going to follow every federal law and state stature when it comes to hiring," said Looy.

The cabinet spokesman says the incentive request is still being considered. Meanwhile work has begun on the Ark.

"Most of the Ark has been designed, and I'm pleased to say that, of the $73 million, much of that has already been raised," said Looy.

Answers in Genesis will not say how much it's spending on the billboard campaign.

The billboards will be up at least through January.

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