For the first time since World War II, the physical Nobel ceremony on December 10 in Stockholm is canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that of the Peace Prize in Oslo forced to a diet, their organizers announced Tuesday “The idea is that the medals and the diplomas are delivered to the laureates in a safe way in their countries of residence, most likely with the help of embassies and universities of the laureates”, explained the Nobel Foundation , based in the Swedish capital.
Awarded at the beginning of October, the prizes are traditionally presented on December 10 – the anniversary of the death of the Swedish creator of the prizes Alfred Nobel (1833-1896) – in Stockholm (Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Literature, and the most recent prize in Economics ) as well as in Oslo (Peace).
“The last time there was no ceremony in Stockholm was in 1944,” during World War II, Gustav Källstrand, the historian of the Nobel Foundation, told AFP. “Even if there will still be a digital ceremony this year,” he said.
A televised ceremony is in fact planned in Stockholm, in the absence of the winners who will receive their prize remotely. The names of the winners of the various prizes will be announced on the dates scheduled, between October 5 and 12, according to the Foundation.
During World War II, several prizes were neither awarded nor awarded, although Sweden had not participated in the conflict.
The 1944 prizes were awarded retroactively to 1945. In 1940, 1941 and 1942, no prizes or ceremonies were held.
A small Peace Prize ceremony is scheduled in Oslo on December 10, but in a very small format, the director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute announced earlier.
Unlike in past years, the ceremony will not be held in the great hall of Oslo City Hall, which can accommodate a thousand guests, but in that of a building -Aula- of the University of Oslo, which can accommodate a hundred guests.
The banquet in honor of the winner, traditionally organized the same evening, has been canceled.
It is far from certain that the Nobel Peace Laureate (s) will be able to come to Oslo to receive the prestigious award this year and the Nobel Institute is considering a digital ceremony with an invitation, in person, postponed to the year next, according to the director of the Nobel Institute, Olav Njølstad.
The Nobel Foundation had already announced in July the cancellation of the big banquet that follows the ceremony at Stockholm City Hall.
A first since a cancellation in 1956 due to a diplomatic incident with the Soviets, linked to the Budapest uprising. A mini-banquet was then held in a smaller room.
The organization had already warned that the awards ceremony could take place in new formats, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nobel consists of a gold medal, a diploma and a sum of 9 million Swedish crowns (approximately 865,000 euros).