Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Robert Hooke Biodiversity Bell


Walking around St. Paul’s Cathedral, I came across this very weird bell that was designed by sculptor, Marcus Vergette and cast at Taylor’s Bell Founders in Loughborough from a mould of the same fossil-rich Portland limestone of which the base, St. Paul’s, and so much of central London, is made.


This is the final scale model for a much larger ‘geological’ bell to be tolled whenever a species goes extinct worldwide and will be sited at the MEMO Project on the Isle of Portland. During the aftermath of the Great Fire of London Robert Hooke first deduced that species could go extinct from giant ammonite fossils in Portland stone.
MEMO is a collaboration of scientists and sculptors determined to build a global monument recording global species extinctions into the future. The purpose is to capture the public imagination on the subject of biodiversity loss. A spiral design based on the fossil forms on the surface of the bell was granted full planning permission in 2012 for a spectacular cliff-top site on Portland overlooking the ‘Jurassic Coast’ World Heritage Site. 

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