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9-Metre Sculpture of Wild Rice Arrives at FAO headquarters

3 April 2008

An extraordinary 9-metre-long sculpture of wild rice has arrived at the U.N.'s Food and Agricultural Organizatiom (FAO), where it will be placed on permanent display.

Acquired by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, who are headquartered in FAO's Rome office, the imposing sculpture commemorates the completion of the Svalbard International Seed Vault, an innovative conservation project that aims to insure against the loss of some of the world's most valuable crop varieties. The vault will preserve the seeds of 3,000,000 species of crops in a sub-zero environment dug from the permafrost on the Svalbard Islands in Norway's Arctic region.

Impressed with the project's work,  the sculpture's creator, Mitsuaki Tanabe, donated his sculpture to help raise awareness of the plight facing the wild relatives of many vital crop species.

The stainless-steel sculpture, named "Yasei Ine," meaning wild rice, imitates the shape of rough rice, which has a long awn that is distinctive to wild rice. The work is nine meters in length and weighs 250 kilograms.


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