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New Nobel Center set for Stockholm waterfront

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New Nobel Center set for Stockholm waterfront
11:22 CEST+02:00
A landmark private donation has allowed plans to move forward for a new Nobel Center in the Swedish capital that will offer more space for both visitors and researchers alike.

"This will be a much larger venue than the current museum in Gamla Stan, roughly four times as big," Annika Pontikis, Public Relations Manager at The Nobel Foundation, told The Local

The centre will be built on Stockholm's Blasieholmen peninsula, with the century-old concept made a reality thanks to a donation of 800 million kronor ($122 million) - one of the largest private donations for a project of this kind in Sweden - from the Erling-Persson Family Foundation and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

"Contributing to the Nobel Center feels important. For a long time, the Nobel Prize has been a vital institution that has reinforced the image of Sweden as a leading knowledge-based nation," Peter Wallenberg Jr, Vice-Chairman of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, in a statement.

"The Nobel Center is an important investment in the future of Stockholm. A strong home base will also enhance the ability of the Nobel system to develop internationally," added Lars Heikensten, Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation.

SEE ALSO: Photo gallery from the 2012 Nobel banquet

The donation allows an international architectural competition to begin, starting on June 14th, when 12 selected architects will be invited to Stockholm to attend an initial seminar. A winning proposal for the design of the building will be unveiled in 2014.

In Stockholm's Gamla Stan, the current Nobel Museum has become too small to house everything about Nobel that Sweden has to offer, and organizers have had to cancel school trips in the past due to a space constraints. But this will no longer be the an issue in the new building.

"There'll be room for exhibitions, meetings, symposiums, and conferences - all within the framework of the Nobel organization," Pontikis explained.

The centre will mostly be for the public, but will also boast research facilities, shops, a restaurant, and a cafe. And with a location in the centre of Stockholm, adjacent to the National Museum of Fine Arts, the new Nobel Center is destined to become a tourist hot-spot, according to Pontikus.

"The location is fantastic, it's quite close to other museums by the waterfront, and we envision it to be a very attractive spot to visit for both Swedes and for tourists," she told The Local.

When asked if the Nobel Center, which is planned to open in December of 2018, will rival the city's new Abba museum, Pontikus remained positive.

"We definitely hope so," she replied with a laugh.

Oliver Gee

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