Nobel winners to get extra medals... at their expense

2015-12-02 20:02


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Oslo - To avoid any possible discord between the winners of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, the awarding institute announced on Wednesday that four additional medals will be struck - one for each member of the Tunisian quartet of laureates - but at their own expense.

The prestigious prize was awarded to Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet on October 9 for its work in building the only democracy that emerged from the Arab Spring, in a show of support for the country after a wave of jihadist attacks.

The Nobel medal is awarded to individuals or to a group.

But in this case, the winner consists of four separate groups: the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA), the Tunisian Human Rights League and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers.

At the Tunisians' request, "four [more] medals will be struck", Nobel Institute director Olav Njolstad told AFP, ahead of the award ceremony in Oslo on December 10.

The Nobel panel often mints up to three replica medals in gold-plated bronze for laureates, but the Tunisians wanted their replicas in solid gold, like the original.

"They are paying the difference in price that this involves," Njolstad said, without giving details. "The price of gold varies from day to day."

Another Nobel innovation this year is that the official medal will be labelled "Fairmined," guaranteeing that 150gr of precious metal goes into each award.

Formed in 2013 when the process of democratisation was in danger of collapsing in Tunisia because of widespread social unrest, the quartet established an alternative, peaceful political process as Tunisia was on the brink of civil war, the committee said.

Read more on:    norway  |  tunisia  |  north africa

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