“North Korea and the US are very friends here”

Two surveillance cameras stand in front of the curious. To the right of the double metal doors, closed, a digital code. Half-buried under a mountain, the futuristic-looking gray concrete building, whose tall entrance juts out of a snow-covered slope and faces the mouth of a fjord, could easily serve as a setting for James Bond’s Villain HQ. Located on the island of Spitsbergen in the Arctic, a small frozen area where nothing is cultivated, the World Seed Vault (Global Seed Vault, in the original version), a kind of “Noah’s Ark” containing more than 1.25 million seed samples. It is a unique place of preservation: the world may kill each other, explode, collapse, but the genetic heritage trapped in this concrete bunker should survive. In theory, at least.

Rarely, the doors of the unvisited Reserve opened this Tuesday, October 24

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Cécile Prieur

Editorial director

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Darell Goodwin

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