The world seed vault — Svalbard Global Seed Vault — is on an island between Norway and the Arctic circle, which also happens to host the Perpetual Repercussion artwork.
The Norwegians built the facility in 2008 and maintain it, as well. It is managed by the Norwegian government and any country can make deposits or withdrawals. Its purpose is as a backup in case seeds stored locally are destroyed.
Syria did just that recently, withdrawing some seeds that had been destroyed in an attack. However, it is in the news today because there was flooding at the entrance due to permafrost thawing. Fortunately, it did not affect the seeds.
The first link below is to a description of the project, which has a lot of interesting facts. The second one is to the actual SGSV website.
It is an interesting place.
On a remote island that is just 800 miles (1,300 km) from the North Pole, the Norwegian government has built a failsafe in the freezing cold that protects thousands of the most vital crops from extinction. Officially called the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, it already holds close to a million samples of crops around the world, with each sample holding about 500 seeds. http://www.visualcapitalist.com/doomsday-vault-vital-crops/
The vault hold the seeds of many tens of thousands of varieties of essential food crops such as beans, wheat and rice. In total, the vault now holds seeds of more than 4000 plant species.
Last, a little tidbit from Wikipedia. Norwegian government projects must include public art, so the entrance to the seed vault, which is all by itself on a remote island has a magnificent entrance.
Running the length of the facility’s roof and down the front face to the entryway is an illuminated artwork named Perpetual Repercussion by Norwegian artist Dyveke Sanne ….. KORO, the Norwegian State agency overseeing art in public spaces, engaged the artist to install lighting that highlights the importance and qualities of Arctic light. The roof and vault entrance are filled with highly reflective stainless steel, mirrors, and prisms. The installation reflects polar light in the summer months, while in the winter, a network of 200 fibre-optic cables gives the piece a muted greenish-turquoise and white light.
Article co-written and edited by Laron.