12 August 2010

Berry the bulldozers; tweet if you like to eat

Yesterday a Russian court proved that satire can never die as long as there are courts and bureaucrats.

In what appears Kafkaesque logic, the property developers argue that because the station contains a "priceless collection", no monetary value can be assigned to it and so it is worthless.
In another nod to Kafka, the government's federal fund of residential real estate development has argued that the collection was never registered and thus does not officially exist.

—John Vidal, The Guardian, Pavlovsk seed bank faces destruction, 8 August 2010

Yesterday in court, the arguments won. Gogol couldn't have written it better. But that is not necessarily The Last Word. You can help save this truly priceless (not to mention delectable) collection by spending nothing more than a few moments.

Read all about it, and what you can do in today's story in Nature, by Ralf Strobel:
Europe's largest berry bank faces closure
"We expected to lose," [says] Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust in Rome, who has spent months campaigning against the station's destruction. "Our real hope lies with President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin, who could both override the decision of the courts."
The station isn't just a seed bank. It's an irreplaceable garden. For more about the collection, Vavilov, Russian taste and food food food, see my 8 July post:
Foodies arise, for luscious fruits you've never eaten.

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