LONGYEARBYEN, Norway -- Norway opened a frozen "doomsday" vault Tuesday deep within an Arctic mountain where millions of seeds will be stored to safeguard against wars or natural disasters wiping out food crops around the globe."This is a frozen Garden of Eden," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said, standing in one of the frosty vaults against a backdrop of large discs made of ice.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called the vault an "insurance policy" and added his own biblical comparison: "It is the Noah's Ark for securing biological diversity for future generations."
Svalbard Global Seed Vault, just 620 miles from the North Pole, is designed to house as many as 4.5 million crop seeds from all over the world. It is built to withstand global warming, earthquakes and even nuclear strikes. The vault, built by the Norwegian government for $9.1 million, will operate like a bank box. Norway owns the bank, but the countries depositing seeds own them and can used them as needed free of charge.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/02/26/ST2008022601108.html?sid=ST2008022601108
Alfred Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent"