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A travelling exhibition that examines the lives of South Africans who have received the Nobel Peace Prize is currently on show at the Dias Museum Complex in Mossel Bay.
“South Africa boasts four Peace Prize laureates: Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, F.W. de Klerk, and Nelson Mandela – all of whom are important icons in the country’s transition to democracy,” said Mbulelo Mrubata, manager of the Dias Museum Complex.
Nobel Peace Prizes are awarded to people or organisations who have made significant contributions to peace, humanitarian work, human rights advocacy, international conflict mediation, or arms control.
“Last year marked the 50th anniversary of Albert Luthuli’s award,” said Mr. Mrubata.
The photographs and films currently on show in the Maritime Museum of the Dias Museum Complex were originally collected together for an exhibition called ‘Strengths & Convictions: The Life and Times of the South African Nobel Peace Prize Laureates,’ which was initiated and produced by the Nobel Peace Center. It opened at the Iziko National Gallery in Cape Town in November 2009.
In May 2010 the exhibition moved to the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, in Norway.
The exhibition takes its theme from quotes from the laureates themselves:
Chief Albert Luthuli, who received his award in 1960 (when he was president of the African National Congress), who said: “What is important is that we can build an homogenous South Africa on the basis not of colour, but of human value.”
Desmond Tutu, who received his award in 1984 (when he was Bishop of Johannesburg, and had recently given up his position as Secretary General of the South African Council of Churches), who said: “A person is a person through other people.”
F.W. de Klerk, who received his award in 1993 (when he was President of the Republic of South Africa), who said: “Our new Constitution is a powerful symbol of reconciliation, justice, and of the ending of centuries of conflict.”
And Nelson Mandela, who also received his award in 1993 (when he was the leader of the ANC), who said: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will experience the oppression of one by another.”
Mossel Bay Tourism’s Marcia Holm said that the exhibition is an interesting adjunct to the Dias Museum Complex’s permanent collections. “Many people know the Post Office Tree, the Maritime Museum, the Shell Museum and Aquarium, the Braille Trail and the Ethno-botanic gardens – but the Peace Prize exhibition should provide a strong reason to visit the Complex again this season,” she said.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The following South Africans have won Nobel Prizes in other categories –
Max Theiler (Physiology or Medicine – 1951)
Allan M. Cormack (Physiology or Medicine – 1979)
Nadine Gordimer (Literature – 1991)
Sydney Brenner (Physiology or Medicine – 2002)
J.M. Coetzee (Literature – 2003).