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Guests share seats with laureates at Nobel Museum

Published söndag 6 december 2015 kl 15.45
"This is our guestbook"
(3:52 min)
Nobel Museum guide Felix Rosén with one of the signed chairs. Photo: Frank Radosevich / Radio Sweden.
Nobel Museum guide Felix Rosén with one of the signed chairs. Photo: Frank Radosevich / Radio Sweden.

As Nobel Week gets underway, this year's laureates have already ticked off one tradition on their list of events - the signing of chair seats from Stockholm's Nobel Museum.

Since 2001, laureates in the field of sciences and literature have signed the undersides of wood chairs from the museum's cafe.

Felix Rosén, a guide at the museum, says any Nobel winner is allowed to leave their mark on a chair and the tradition is believed to have started with former US President and philanthropist Bill Clinton, who has not won a Nobel Prize in any category.

Attending the museum's opening in 2001, Clinton is said to have spontaneously signed and dated the bottom of a chair without being asked.

"We liked it and we thought, 'hey, let's make all the Nobel laureates do that,'" Rosén tells Radio Sweden. "And we've had the tradition ever since."

The museum doesn't have every laureates' autograph but does occasionally go to great lengthens to get one. For Alice Munro, the 2013 Nobel prize winner in literature, the museum sent a chair to her home in Canada when Munro could not travel to Stockholm due to health reasons. She signed it and it now resides at the cafe.

Rosén says, to date, none of the chairs have broken and no one has tried to steal one.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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