Copy that: legendary Ark of the Covenant replica unveiled in Gdańsk
Amber and jewellery artists from Gdańsk have created a stunning replica of the Ark of the Covenant, the ancient chest that the Bible says contains the Ten Commandments.
Popularised in Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark film starring Harrison Ford, the painstaking recreation weighs around 240 kg and is made of acacia wood, gold, silver and amber.
Measuring 130×80×80 cm, the replica is covered in a plate of gold called a propitiation.
According to Jewish tradition, the Ark held Aaron’s staff, a jug of manna and two stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, which Yahweh was to hand to Moses on Mount Sinai.
Project leader Tomasz Ołdziejewski, who has two works of amber entered in the Guinness Book of World Records (a replica of a lighthouse from Hel and an amber Titanic), said: “The biggest challenge was carving the cherubs. In this form, they symbolically express humility. There is also one raw piece of amber, symbolising imperfection.
“This is a deliberate procedure to emphasise that only God is perfect.”
Referencing co-creators and jewellery designers Artur Szyngwelski and Emilia Łuźniak, he added: “This was created thanks to the work of Artur and Emilia.
“Without them, there would be no references to Pomerania, e.g. silver sheets imitating sea waves, and the Ark itself would not be covered with Italian gold.”
Their labours could be followed by viewers of the fifth season of theHistory Channel show Gold of the Baltic, which follows a group of
amber hunters in Poland.
The creators of the work are open about how Stephen Spielberg’s film was an inspiration for the project and they say they have even
informed the well-known director about their achievement.
Gdańsk is considered the amber capital of the world. The city hosts the Amberif fair each year and is also home to the Amber Museum, which has welcomed nearly 300,000 visitors to its new base since 2021.
The Ark will be on display free of charge on the ground floor of the Amber Museum until Monday, June 12.