I was recently in Oslo, Norway for work. I’ve already written about starting my days off right with my morning jogs around Norway’s capital.
Although I didn’t have much free time, I did manage to squeeze in a few tourist visits on my stay. One was the Nobel Peace Prize Museum.
I was passing this museum every day and I went to a dinner at Oslo City Hall – where the prize is awarded annually, so I was curious to visit this museum and learn more about the history of the prize and its recipients.
The museum is in the center, right along the water. It bills itself as not really a museum, but an interactive space. To be honest, I would have preferred the actual thing. The space must be nice for lectures and talks. It seems to be used for photo exhibitions.
When I visited, there was one on the war in Syria and one on the FARC in Colombia – connected to 2016’s recipient, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos. I enjoyed listening to the video of his Nobel laureate speech.
The museum did indeed have interactive displays, and lots of tablets you could touch to read about each individual recipient, but I would have enjoyed some more explanation.
The creation of the Nobel Peace Prize by Swedish industrialist and arms manufacturer Alfred Nobel has always been a bit of a mystery – as has his choice to have the recipient selected by a Norwegian committee and be awarded the prize in Norway – something that has been done since 1901.
If you are looking for any explanations or background history, you won’t find it here.
However, the hall of Nobel recipients is quite moving – and many of them quite baffling. If you have the patience to tap into each and every tablet, you can read a short recounting of the recipients and the reasons for which he or she was chosen.
Here on the left you can see Norway’s homegrown Nobel laureate, Dr. Fridtjof Nansen – scientist, skiing champion, Arctic explorer, statesman, humanitarian and first Commissioner to what would later become the UN High Commission on Refugees.
Worth a visit, certainly, when you’re in Oslo, but I would have enjoyed learning more about the history of the Prize and the men and women who have become Nobel laureates over the past century.