On 24 October 1963, the poet George Seferis was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. Other prominent figures of world literature were also candidates, including Pablo Neruda and Yukio Mishima. However, the decision of the Swedish Academy was unanimous. George Seferis “was chosen for his wonderful lyrical style, inspired by a deep feeling for the Greek cultural ideal,” according to the Academy’s official announcement.
The banquet speech given by Seferis went down in history, as it summarized the importance, particularity and resilience of Greek culture: “It is a small country, but its tradition is immense and has been handed down through the centuries without interruption. The Greek language has never ceased to be spoken. (...). This tradition is characterized by love of the human; justice is its norm.”
In the first telephotograph on the left, from the Museum’s archive, Seferis receives the Nobel prize from Swedish king Gustav on 10 December 1963. In the picture we see Swedish ambassador Tage Gronvall (right) announcing the award to poet George Seferis. In the middle, Maria, the wife of G. Seferis. 24/10/1963
In the second photograph (from the left), Cleo Linner, wife of Dr. Sture Linner, Hellenist professor, offers an olive branch bouquet to the poet George Seferis, according to ancient Greek custom. 24/10/1963