A huge safe set up underground in the frozen arctic region of northern Norway will preserve important works of human music for 1,000 years, similar to safes that preserve crop seeds and historical items in case of doomsday disaster.
The “World Music Safe”, which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2022, will be built 300 meters below a frozen mountain on the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalard archipelago, about 1,300 kilometers from the North Pole. It will be designed to deal with natural and man.made disasters, including nuclear explosions and electromagnetic shocks, with the aim of surviving for at least a thousand years.
The management company Elira from Oslo, which was chosen to manage the project, stated that the safe will contain all the important recordings of world music, from the Beatles’ records to native music from Australia. Later on, the public is also expected to participate in the selection of the recordings that will be placed in the safe.
“We want to preserve the music that has shaped us as human beings and shaped our countries,” said Safe Project Manager Luke Jenkinson. “The goal is to protect the future of music by having the archives of the past,” added Alphonse Carbuda, president of the World Music Council, which is helping develop the venture.
The new safe joins two similar projects operating in the frozen archipelago. In 2008, the Seed Safe was inaugurated, containing more than 930,000 seed samples from around the world, from potatoes and eggplants to lettuce, rice and various types of trees and plants.
Since 2017, the archive safe has also been operating, preserving items of historical and cultural importance, such as Vatican documents, movies, and even the recipe for a special sauce from a famous hamburger chain.