A press release from the World Intellectual Property Organization ("Foundation Stone Laid for WIPO’s New Building", Geneva, November 7, 2008, PR/2008/574) announces that officials and representatives of the city of Geneva, the ruggedly independent confederation of Switzerland and the WIPO member states joined WIPO Director General Francis Gurry on that date in a ceremony marking the laying of the foundation stone of the new WIPO building project. According to the press release:
"Following tradition, a number of symbolic objects and documents were placed in a cylinder and later embedded in a concrete block, which was laid at the base of the new building’s foundation. Noting the importance of the event in the life of the Organization, Mr. Gurry explained that the contents of the cylinder contained “a number of symbolic objects indicating the time and age in which we live”.The IPKat is appalled at the boringly unimaginative nature of the items selected for symbolic burial. Merpel adds, at the rate at which some of the world's formerly respectable currencies have been depreciating, in a few years it will probably be worth blowing up the entire building to get at the Swiss coins buried beneath it.
These included the WIPO Convention, a WIPO flag, a USB key containing a selection of photos of the site since excavation began in April 2008, a copy of the bill of sale of the land (purchased in 1998), the brochure relating to the architectural competition in 1999, a selection of the architect’s blueprints, a copy of the contract with the general contractor, a copy of today’s official gazette (Feuille d'Avis Officielle), Swiss coins from 2008, the program for today’s ceremony, a commemorative WIPO medal and the Charter of the United Nations".
Anyway, the competition is this: by not later than Tuesday 9 December, you are invited to send the IPKat your personal selection of THREE items that, in your opinion, should be embedded in the foundations of the new building. Please email the IPKat here, with the subject line "WIPO burial". The winner gets a copy of Gringras: the Laws of the Internet by Elle Todd (details of which you can read here), while the runner-up gets a free one-year subscription to World Intellectual Property Review (which you can read all about here).