Posted by: Sarah | October 10, 2009

The Peace Prize And Norway


Yesterday we saw a huge stir in the media around the Nobel Peace Prize notably because Barack Obama was awarded the honour only 9 months into his presidency. 

However, on showing my visitors around Oslo last week it suddenly occurred to me that not many people realise that the Nobel Peace Prize is the only Nobel Prize to be awarded in Norway.  All other prizes are awarded in Stockholm on 10th December each year. 

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish inventor and chemist and he established the prizes in his will in 1895 – most of which are mainly related to science and literature.   The Nobel Peace Prize conveys social prestige and is often politically controversial.  Nobel never really explained why he created a prize for peace but it’s thought that it came as a result of his friendship to peace activist Bertha von Suttner. 

Either way, the Norwegian Nobel Committee speculates that Norway may have been better suited to awarding the prize as it did not have the same militaristic traditions as Sweden and so that is thought to be the reason why this is the only prize to be awarded in Oslo each year. 

89 Peace Prizes have been awarded to 119 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2008.  The prize is awarded in the Town Hall.  The building shown above is of the Peace Prize museum – it’s a lot better looking than the Oslo Town Hall. 

Winners of the peace prize include a few famous faces – some more controversial than others!  The full list is below including the latest winner – Barack Obama!

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