MIAMI BEACH (CBS4)-It’s a 66-foot long ship, carrying with it a message of tolerance and ethnic diversity, and it’s making its mark at Art Basel Miami Beach.

The Ship of Tolerance Miami is the latest conceptual installation by Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, which was unveiled on Friday at the museum on Watson Island at 980 MacArthur Causeway as part of Art Basel.

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The ship, part of the Miami Children’s Museum and the children of Miami, was unveiled to the children first at a children’s celebration at 5 p.m., and will be followed by an official opening reception at 8 p.m.

The Ship of Tolerance is an internationally acclaimed installation series dedicated to educating and connecting youth of different continents, cultures and identities through the universal language of art.

Currently in its fifth edition since 2005, the Ship of Tolerance, Miami, represents the first time that this project will be realized in North America.

“This project is not just a matter of creative expression, but it is a social responsibility that lies close to our hearts,” comments Emilia Kabakov. “Miami’s rich cultural and ethnic diversity offers the perfect laboratory for the Ship of Tolerance, intended as a means of artistic expression to help children transcend the tensions that divide social environments.”

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Modeled after an ancient Egyptian sailing ship, the ship will be constructed with a wood carcass and will measure approximately 66-feet long by 23-feet wide. The 43-foot tall mast will be adorned with a sail, sewn together from hundreds of swatches of fabric that will be painted by local children of different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds and will convey their individual interpretations and messages of tolerance and hope. Specifically, the Kabakovs enlisted the help of various Miami-based after-school programs, camps and youth artist programs to complete the ship.

Works that are not selected for the sail will be made viewable to the public in venues throughout the city during the first week of December 2011.

A small-scale model of the ship will be available on view to the public at The Setai South Beach in Miami Beach.

Upon the completion of Art Miami 2011, the Ship of Tolerance, Miami, is expected to travel to Bronx for a future installation in the series, which will be the second United States location for the project.

Earlier Ship of Tolerance projects have been produced in Siwa, Egypt; Venice, Italy; St. Moritz, Switzerland and Sharjah, UAE.

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