Buying a house can mean inheriting the occasional oddity from previous owners: half-empty paint cans, old flooring – and the Ark of the Covenant?
A full-size replica ark, first referenced in the Biblical book of Exodus and built by the Jewish people to house the original 10 Commandments, turned up when Victoria couple Sheena Bellingham and Don Hutton were cleaning out hoarded trash from their new garage last year.
“We found this bit of a wreck of a house (in December 2012),” Bellingham said from her Jubilee home. “It came with a whole bunch of garbage, so we had to get rid of it. We were left with this thing in the garage. It wasn’t all put together yet, but it looked like a time machine.”
The couple called the previous owner and were told only that the elaborate wooden pieces made up a replica Ark of the Covenant. The fabled ark is perhaps most recognizable in modern culture for being featured in the 1981 film, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
“We put the ark together and that’s about as far as we’ve got,” Bellingham said.
The location of the genuine Ark of the Covenant has been the subject of wild speculation since Jerusalem was sacked by the Babylonians around 597 B.C.
While the couple isn’t religious, both took the time to read up on the controversy of the sacred Jewish shrine before Hutton undertook reconstruction.
“It’s made of wood, and covered in gold leaf,” Bellingham said.
“If you Google this enough, you’ll see the power of God is supposed to come out of the Ark of the Covenant. But with the material, it possibly could have had a static capacitor and given off a charge.”
The couple isn’t sure what to do with the ark, but they’re considering selling or donating it if a modern Indiana Jones comes along.
“It’s so large,” Bellingham said. “And somebody put a lot of trouble into making it.”
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