No increase for Nobel Prizes; still worth $970,000

Saturday, April 27, 2002

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- This year's Nobel Prizes will be worth $970,000, the same amount as last year, the foundation that administers them said on Friday.

The Nobel Foundation said it had increased the prize money by such a large amount last year -- about $100,000 -- it decided to keep the sum level for the 2002 awards.

"As we increased it quite substantially last year, by 11 percent, we thought it could be there for a year or two," foundation executive director Michael Sohlman said.

The annual prizes, created in the will of Alfred Nobel -- the Swedish industrialist and the inventor of dynamite, were first awarded in 1901 and celebrated their centennial last year.

The foundation also announced the market value of its invested capital in 2001 was $359 million. Its stock portfolio amounted to $246 million at year's end, down 5.6 percent from the year before.

The Nobel Prizes, which include gold medals and diplomas, are always presented on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896. The prizes in literature, physics, chemistry and the prize in physiology or medicine are awarded in the Swedish capital, while the peace prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway.

The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was established separately in 1968 but is awarded in Stockholm with the other awards and is worth the same amount.

Sohlman said he wasn't worried the winners would be disappointed with the amount when the awards are announced in the fall.

"I've never heard them complain," he said.

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