The Nobel Monument

  • Nobelmonument

    Nobel Monument Photo: Consulate General of Sweden

The Nobel Monument was raised in 2003 in a joint project conceived and overseen by the Consulate General of Sweden and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation with the purpose of honoring all American Nobel Laureates and the founder of the Nobel Prize, Alfred Nobel. It is the only monument in New York City parks featuring the names of living persons. Each year, the names of the American Nobel Laureates from the previous year are inscribed onto the monument and unveiled at an official ceremony.

Background
No other country has had as many Nobel Prize recipients as the United States. Including the most recent American Laureates of 2014 – Shuji Nakamura, Eric Betzig, William E. Moerner and John O’Keefe – 345 Americans have had their achievements universally recognized since this prestigious award was first presented in 1901.

Prior to the centennial celebration of the Nobel Prize in 2001, a suggestion was made for a monument to be raised in New York to honor all American Nobel Laureates as well as Alfred Nobel. The Consul General of Sweden in New York, Dag Sebastian Ahlander, and the New York City Parks Commissioner, Henry J. Stern, were the initiators and original promoters of this idea, which gained considerable support among the Nobel Laureates. The monument was approved by New York City's Art Commission in November 2001.

On December 17, 2001, work began in earnest with a groundbreaking ceremony, as Commissioner Henry Stern and Consul General Olle Wästberg dug the first shovelfuls of dirt in Theodore Roosevelt Park. On October 14, 2003, the monument was presented as a gift to the people of the City of New York and unveiled by New York's Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Sweden's Deputy Prime Minister, Margareta Winberg, with a number of distinguished guests in attendance. The monument, designed by renowned Swedish sculptor Sivert Lindblom, presents the lengthy list of American Laureates and also leaves ample space for future honorees to be engraved.

"The monument will be a lasting memorial commemorating a great Swede, but above all, it will be a monument honoring the many American recipients of the prize," according to former Consul General of Sweden Olle Wästberg.

Location
The Nobel Monument stands in New York's Theodore Roosevelt Park. This location has a great symbolic value, as President Roosevelt was the first American to be awarded the prize in 1906 (Peace).

> Map of the location

Design
Sivert Lindblom, one of Sweden's foremost designers of urban spaces and the artist behind the Holocaust Monument in Stockholm, has designed the Nobel Monument. Lindblom's simple and classic design uses red granite mined from the southern part of Sweden. The typography was designed by Lars Hall AB in Sweden.

Sponsors

The Monument was created with generous support from The Merck Company Foundation; Skanska; Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation; Ambassador and Mrs. Lyndon L. Olson; and NCR Corporation.

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