2007-12-14 Jasna Carlén
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Behind the scenes of the Nobel Prize ceremony

Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore speaks during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremonyNobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore speaks during the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony
Nobel fever has been raging. On the 10th – laureates attended the Nobel Prize ceremony at Stockholm’s Concert House and received their medals from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf – that’s what went on on stage – but what about behind the scenes? As the laureates arrived in the Swedish capital, Radio Sweden’s Jasna Carlén talked to Annika Pontikis of the Nobel Foundation about the events that awaited the year’s greatest minds and their families during Nobel Week:

The Nobel Week has a very extensive programme. There are events every day for Nobel laureates. But of course, it’s important for them to have a nice visit to Stockholm as well and a good time, and not just be exhausted. So many of them arrange for private dinners with their families, maybe museum visits when it can be done and then you have to remember that they live at the Grand Hotel. So they’re in the midst of Stockholm, if we’re lucky, we’ll have some nice winter weather so that they will really meet an exotic Stockholm.

Do you have any special thoughts when you receive them? Concerts or Swedish Music?

Guest are seen at the traditional Nobel banquet in the Stockholm Town HallGuest are seen at the traditional Nobel banquet in the Stockholm Town Hall
I think that has been a guideline when it comes to the prize award ceremony and the banquet for many, many years to present a nice programme – not particularly Swedish since this is not a Swedish prize in that sense, it’s an international prize. But we always try to have young Swedish soloists singing or playing at the prize award ceremony, for example and when it comes to the dinner served at the Nobel banquet, we always have Swedish culinary specialities. Then, of course, there is also the big celebration here in Sweden – which is Lucia. What do you do for that day? It’s a very special day when light is celebrated and all these young girls are crowned.

Well actually that is something that the laureates often ask about. Even before they arrive in Sweden, they ask about Lucia and which day it is – and we tell them that you will be greeted by Lucia in the morning at the hotel, which has become a tradition.

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