A project that preserves concrete
physical objects of human memory for one thousand years or
more requires an integrated construct of material, rite and
symbol. In addition, the location of this construct is a central
feature in the effort to guarantee its preservation through
the next ten centuries of time.
We present here a design not
only for a capsule to be closed this winter and opened in
one thousand years, but for a whole system that inscribes
the capsule into the most significant communal experience
of the Western world. This system has its roots in rituals
at the very core, established at the very dawn, of the Judeo-Christian
tradition. Its symbols and remembrances are communicated through
a rite that resonates with the themes of freedom, human rights
and human dignity that are the moral raison d´être
of this nation and this city.
We have named the capsule and
the rites surrounding it THE MILLENNIUM SPHERE.
In providing the alternative name ARIADNE'S CLEW (the
ball of thread Ariadne gave Theseus to extricate himself from
the labyrinth), we suggest a linkage from the sphere to one
of the most significant mythologies of human memory: a method
of venerating the past as the sphere itself foresees another
thousand years of human development.
We provide the means of keeping
alive not only the contents of the capsule as a slice of time
at the dawn of the Third Millennium. We also provide a means
of preserving the very core of ideas and ideals of what may
be considered the Western contribution to human civilization
in which that slice of time took place and has meaning.
We have embedded the capsule
in interlocking systems of knowledge and memories, which have
already successfully withstood the assaults of time for at
least two millennia. We have physically placed it on sacred
ground within a structure and an architectural system that
is most likely, if the lessons of history are consistent,
to last for another thousand years.
Such a system as here proposed
will of course cost more than the sum allocated in the terms
of the competition. That sum would adequately cover the cost
of one capsule. But there is no doubt that if the project
were so limited, that capsule would soon join the throng of
those previous attempts to preserve relics of the past which
have been irretrievably lost among the ravages of natural
disaster and human conflict.
There is no doubt that the
relatively modest sums required to build THE MILLENNIUM
SPHERE and its associated physical and ritualistic
elements will be easy to raise. The themes evoked by the project
are deep and wide enough to enlist support from civic, humanitarian
and cultural organizations and foundations, local as well
as national in scope.