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(Nobelprize.org, “Nobel Prize Facts”)Since 1901, there are some years when the Nobel Prize has not been awarded. Most of them were during World War I and II. The total numbers of times are 49,reason being that if someone’s work is not found as important to received a Nobel Prize, such award is reserved until the following year so it was not just the war that impeded them from awarding the prize.From 1974, the Statutesof the Nobel Foundation Torres Cruz 4
stipulate that a Prize cannot be awarded posthumously, unless death has occurred after the announcement of theNobel Prize. Before 1974, the Nobel Prize has only been awarded posthumously twice: to Dag Hammarskjöld(Nobel Peace Prize 1961) and Erik Axel Karlfeldt(NobelPrize in Literature 1931).Following the 2011 announcement of the Nobel Prizein Physiology or Medicine, it was discovered that one of the Medicine Laureates, Ralph Steinman, had passed away three days earlier. The Board of the Nobel Foundation examined the statutes, and an interpretationof the purpose of the rule above led to the conclusion that Ralph Steinman should continue to remain a Nobel Laureate, as the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutehad announced the 2011 Nobel Laureates in Physiology orMedicine without knowing of his death.At the Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies on 10 Decemberthe Nobel Laureates receive three things: a Nobel Diploma, a Nobel Medal and a document confirming the Nobel Prize amount. Each Nobel Diploma is a unique work of art, created by foremost Swedish and Norwegian artists and calligraphers. The Nobel Medals are Torres Cruz 5
handmade with careful precision and in 18 carat green gold plated with 24-karat gold.The Nobel Medals in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature are identical on the face: it shows the image of Alfred Nobel and the years of his birth and death (1833-1896). Nobel's portrait also appears on the Nobel Peace Prize Medal and the Medal for the Prizein Economic Sciences, but with a slightly different design. The image on the reverse varies according to the institution awarding the prize.