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Forgotten speech fails to mar Nobel banquet

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07:04 CET+01:00
Royals, laureates, and diplomats were among the more than 1,300 guests that feted the 2012 Nobel Prizes at Stockholm's City Hall on an evening when not even a forgotten speech by literature winner Mo Yan could dampen high spirits.

For the first time in three years, Sweden's entire royal family was in attendance for the Nobel banquet.

The much anticipated meal featured a starter of Marinated Arctic char with cauliflower terrine, Kalix bleak roe, and dill mayonnaise, followed by a main course of pheasant with chanterelle mushrooms, poached pear, winter vegetables, almond potato purée, red wine gravy.

CLICK HERE TO SEE IMAGES FROM THE BANQUET

Guests finished off the evening, which also included acrobatic interludes by performance artists from the Cirkus Cirkör circus company, with a trilogy of cherries with pistachio-covered mascarpone cheese and black cherry sorbet.

Following the meal, the laureates took centre stage, offering a range of thank you speeches, with physics winner Serge Haroche from France acknowledging physicist Erwin Schrödinger, whose name is attached to a thought experiment in which a cat helps illustrate the paradoxical results in the subatomic world.

Chemistry laureate Robert Lefkowits of the United States, who shared the prize along with former trainee Brian Kobilkas, recognized his mentee's wife Tong Sun Kobilka, who also contributed to her husband's research.

Banquet attendees and Swedes watching at home on television heard an unexpectedly truncated speech by literature prize winner, Chinese author Mo Yan, who forgot his prepared remarks back at the hotel.

But Mo didn't miss a beat, instead delivering heart-felt, off the cuff speech in which he admitted that literature was less important than science and technology.

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Following the speeches, the well-dressed guests took to the dance floor in Golden Hall to continue celebrating the gala evening and the high-point of the past week's Nobel-related events.

TT/The Local/dl

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