The Pavlovsk field gene bank – it’s not a proper seed bank as most of the plants are grown in fields and can’t be stored as seeds – looks set to be destroyed to make way for a housing development.

“During the siege of Leningrad, 12 scientists chose to starve while protecting the diversity amassed by Vavilov, even though the seeds of rice, peas, corn and wheat that they were protecting could have sustained them.

…property developers argue that because the station contains a “priceless collection”, no monetary value can be assigned to it and so it is worthless.”

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