Alfred Nobel Peace Center Oslo Reviews
The history of the world's greatest prize Sep 23, 2009
The Nobel Peace Centre is a showcase on the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. They have a rotating exhibit on the ground floor (the current one is "From King to Obama", but wasn't open yet), then a "Tunnel of Honour" and an exhibit on the last winner of the Nobel Prize. The final rooms are permanent exhibits on the life of Alfred Nobel (he got his money via inventing dynamite) and on past winners - full of information but attempting too hard to be modern and interactive.
The 2008 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and current focus of the exhibit, was Martti Ahtisaari. I quite like this choice, as a Finnish diplomat he wasn't as showy as many past winners, but he has really put his entire life towards peace negotiations. Being made Finnish ambassador to Tanzania, Zambia, Somalia and Mozambique almost sounds like a career death knoll, but he went on to become Finnish PM and the United Nations' go-to guy for key negotiations, including the vital work in Kosovo, Nambia, Aceh and Northern Ireland. I also quite like his philosophy - "I don't think you can be neutral because you have to do what is right".
A less known fact is that the Nobel Peace Centre not only makes up the Nobel medal, but also makes a toy statue of each winner. The foot high statues of an old gray hunched bureacrat carrying around a suitcase where littered everywhere around the exhibit.
Part of the The conference circuit travel blog
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Jun 22, 2007
The Alfred Nobel Peace Center is located in Oslo, Norway. It opened on June 11, 2005 so it is pretty new and very modern. To learn more about it for yourself go to www.nobelpeacecenter.org. The website is in Norwegian and English.
When you enter the Peace Center, the first thing you see is the gift shop, which is filled with everything from T-shirts to umbrellas, books, stuffed animals, and various trinkets. Apparently what they sell at the gift shop matches when is being exhibited at the moment. For example, the shop was selling biographies on Muhammed Yunus, the history of Grameen Bank, and the concept of microloans. You are able to purchase your tickets here.
Once admitted into the Center, you see a television with a tribute to the year's Nobel Peace winner featuring his or her acceptance speech and the presentation of the award. When I went, Muhammad Yunus was the Nobel recipient. He is the man who thought up Grameen Bank and Microloans. This simple concept has helped hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty.
In the next room, there is a temporary exhibit featuring some sort of cause de jour. When I went, they were featuring Global Warming. There was a lot of artwork, such as paintings and sculptures, as well as exhibits educating the visitor on the causes and effects of global warming.
In the Gallery, which is located upstairs, you will find another tribute to the current Nobel Peace winner, which features his or her work in bringing out peace. The exhibit I saw featured Muhammed Yunus's idea of microloans. The exhibit was entitled "Fistful of Dollars" and it featured beautiful photos of the people who have been effected by Grameen Bank and microloans. The exhibit explained and illustrated the concept of microloans and the economics behind the success of this program.
As part of the permanent exhibit, the Peace Center has six permanent installations: the Global Room, the Nobel Field, the Passage of Honor, the Nobel Chamber, the Register, and the Wall Papers.
By far, the most impressive and informative of these exhibits was the Nobel Field. In an interactive digital display of screens in a dark room, every single Nobel Laureate who has ever won the prize is featured on one of these small screens. By just standing in front of the screen, the visitor can learn about the person who won the prize and learn about his or her accomplishments toward peace.
In addition to the permanent exhibitions, there is a movie featuring about 5 or 6 Nobel Laureates, which is very imformative. When I went, I got to see Amnesty International, Rigoberta Menchu, and Martin Luther King Jr. I learned that AI has been a recipient twice, I learned how AI was formed and when it was formed and by who. I highly recommend stepping in for these movies.
When at the Peace Center, I highly advise you to take advantage of the guided tour. I'm usually not a fan of the guided tour, but in this instance, it is to your benefit to take it. It is in English, and the tour guide provides a lot of valuable information about the Peace Center, Alfred Nobel, and how to get the most out of the exhibits. He or she will also answer any questions along the way.
I would list this as one of the most rewarding things to do in Oslo. It is inspiring, educational, and even entertaining. Don't miss it.
Part of the Exploring Norway in 5 days 2007 travel blog