At the time of writing there are only eleven reviews and the institute is ranked 145 out of 404 in Oslo. I’m surprised and not surprised. I’m surprised this is not a major unmissable display explaining the history of the Nobel peace prize and its winners and their achievements. I’m not surprised that this small and frankly dull museum gets poor reviews. To be fair, there is one room, I believe permanent, which contains photos of all the winners and a brief comment on their achievements. I thought it really good. It’s an imaginative display which reacts to people as they pass each winner’s picture. However, the operative words are “brief comment”. If there was any discussion on the controversial awards (to Kissinger, say, or Aung San Suu Kyi, or Begin, or even Obama, awarded before he’d had a chance to do anything) I didn’t see it. And that is only one room. As someone else says, perhaps it makes a huge difference what the periodic exhibitions are. Today we expected from publicity that there would be something about the Berlin Wall: there wasn’t. There was instead a series of glossy photos which might have been out of some us society magazine and which looked trivial to me. They had no meaning till one read the captions; a thousand words were certainly more meaningful than these photos. (It was about the pursuit of riches.) No doubt this will soon be gone. Maybe its replacement will be better. But the experience has diminished the Peace Prize in my eyes. I felt some professional help from a serious museum would make the world of difference. This one didn’t try hard enough.
The attached coffee and tea house was on the other hand very nice: great Danish pastries/Viennese swirls, ok coffee, good toilets, and especially helpful and charming staff. The museum receptionist was really helpful too, by the way.
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