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Unveiling The Nobel Peace Prize Exhibition 2014

BY JERRY ALONZO LEON

Nobel Peace Center

In honor of the newest recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Peace Center unveiled Nobel Peace Prize Exhibition 2014 on December 11 in Oslo, Norway. The Norwegian Nobel Committee made the official announcement on October 10, when Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai were announced as this year’s award winners.

The Nobel Peace Center, commissioned by King Harald V of Norway, opened on June 11, 2005 and features a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions designed to “provide insight into the fields of war, peace and conflict resolution”. As a “venue for reflection, debate and involvement”, the museum is housed in a converted 19th century railway station, located in the city center of the Norwegian capital.

From formal announcement to the official opening, the annual Nobel Peace Prize Exhibition takes eight weeks to construct, which will serve to showcase the work and life of each Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Geir Lundestad, secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, talks about the committee’s selection for this year’s award and more in this video.

The Nobel Peace Prize Exhibition 2014 will run from December 12, 2014 to April 12, 2015. Exhibitions currently on display at the Nobel Peace Center include Peace Prize, See what I mean?, 1964 Martin Luther King. Jr, Combating Chemical Weapons and Be Democracy.

The museum is open Tue-Sun 10am to 6pm. Entry for adults is 90 NOK ($13), students/seniors 60 NOK ($9) and children under 16 are free. There will be free entry into the museum starting at noon on December 12-30.

The Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony will be held December 10, at the Oslo City Hall, across the plaza from the Nobel Peace Center where the new exhibition unveiled on December 11. The following day, December 12, the exhibit was open to the public.

Kailash and Malala

3 Malala and Kailash Exhibit 2014

Photo: WordPress/Nobel Peace Center

In 1980, Kailash Satyarthi left his job as an electrical engineer to start Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save Childhood Movement), an India-based human right’s movement campaigning for the rights of children. The organization, which focuses on prevention (public awareness campaigns and grassroots efforts to publicize problems of child labor, with an emphasis on community intervention), protection (advocate legislative support to restrain and eliminate child labor and human trafficking), and rehabilitation (support centers for rescued children), has freed more than 80,000 children from child labor and trafficking.

As the youngest recipient of a Nobel Prize (17), Malala Yousafzai has been a staunch advocate for girls’ education for years. In 2009 Malala wrote a blog for the BBC (under an assumed name) providing insight about her life under Taliban occupation in her native Pakistan. That same year The New York Times produced a documentary on her life. On October 9th 2012, Malala survived an assassination attempt when a Taliban gunman shot her in the head on a school bus. Following her recovery and widespread support from the global community, Malala has continued with her activism work, including an opportunity to speak before the United Nations in 2013.

2 Malala and Kailash official announcement

Photo: Thomas Widerberg via Twitter

Alfred Nobel and the Peace Prize

4 Alfred Nobel's will, dated November 25, 1895

Photo: Prolineserver (talk) via Wikipedia

When Alfred Nobel passed away on December 10, 1896, it was unveiled that he had left behind a will which dictated that the vast majority of his wealth would be allocated to establish five prizes: Peace, Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine and Literature (the prize for Economics was added in 1968, due to a generous grant from Sveriges Riksbank to the Nobel Foundation).

According to his will, the Peace Prize is to be awarded to a person who “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding of peace congresses”. For reasons unknown, Alfred specifically required that the Peace Prize be chosen “by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting”. The Peace Prize is the only award appointed by Norway (all others are chosen by Swedish committees).

Selection for the Nobel Peace Prize is a year-long process. Applicants for the prize are sent to the Norwegian Nobel Committee in September. Qualified nominations can only be submitted by national assemblies, governments, international courts, university officials, previous award winners (individual or organization), advisors to the Norwegian Nobel Committee and, of course, the Committee members themselves. February is the deadline for submissions and by March the list is whittled down to a short list. From March to August the list is further reviewed until October when the list is finalized and winners are announced on October 10. By December 10, the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony takes place at Oslo City Hall, where Nobel Laureates are presented with their award.

14 View from Nobel Peace Center

Photo: Jerry Leon

Quick facts about the Nobel Peace Prize:

  • 95 Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded since 1901.
  • There were 19 times when the prize was not handed out due to inadequate qualifications.
  • 64 Peace Prizes have been awarded to an individual, 29 were shared by two Laureates and only twice has the award been shared by three persons (1994 & 2011).
  • 128 Laureates have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize including 103 individuals and 22 organizations.
  • Average age of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates is 61.
  • The youngest Peace Prize recipient is Malala Yousfzai, 17, while the oldest to win the award is Joseph Rotblat, 87.
  • 16 women have won the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Le Duc Tho, Vietnamese politician, was awarded the prize in 1973 but declined the honor citing the ongoing Vietnam War.
  • 3 Laureates have been awarded the Peace Prize while under arrest: Carl von Ossietzky (German pacifist and journalist), Aung San Suu Kyi (Burmese politician), Liu Xiaobo (Chinese human rights activist).
  • Dag Hammarskjöld is the only person to receive the award posthumously (1961). The Statutes of the Nobel Foundation have since been changed to award living persons only, unless death occurs after the official announcement.
  • Each Nobel Peace Prize recipient receives a diploma, medal and document confirming the 10 million SEK ($1.5 million) prize amount.

Jerry Leon contributor profile

 

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