The City Hall of Oslo is not an old building by any stretch of the imagination. It was started in 1931 and completed in 1950 due to World War 2 halting it’s construction. What is cool about this building is all the artwork built into it. It reminds me of Rockefeller Center and all it’s art deco works. Inside you find large mosaic murals, outside under the covered wings are wooden reliefs (like the one of Thor pictured here), and all around the building you will find stone and metal sculptures. The one I like the best was a stone carving of an aristocrat couple looking towards the ocean, while the lady is secretly holding hands with the working class around the corner.
As wonderful as all the artwork is, it does not compare to the fame December 10th brings this building. You see that is the day the Nobel Peace Prize is given out each year. But Alfred Nobel, who set up the awards to be remembered for more than inventing dynamite, is Swedish. Why is Norway giving out this one award while Sweden gives out all the rest? Well the answer is that both countries were one when he died and set up the awards in his will. He specifically said the Peace Prize would be given out by a committee picked by the Norwegian Parliament, so when the two countries separated nine years later this one award stayed with Norway, while the other four are given out by Sweden.
Of course with an award like this there will be controversies and the biggest one is that Gandhi never won the award even though he was nominated in 1937-39 and again 1947. This oversight was so great that when he died in January 1948 the committee declined to award the prize December of that year stating that “there was no suitable living candidate” (a recipient must be alive when the award is announced).
So with all that said, please follow me as we enter Oslo City Hall, so I can receive my prize. 🙂