The Peer Gynt Prize or the Peer Gynt Award (Årets Peer Gynt or Per Gynt-prisen) is a private Norwegian prize presented annually by the private commercial company Peer Gynt AS during the Peer Gynt Festival, also organised by the same company. The Peer Gynt Prize is named after the main character in Peer Gynt (1867), a five-act play in verse by Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen. The prize is awarded to people or institutions who have marked themselves in a positive way nationally and internationally. However, the prize has received criticism for misrepresenting the Peer Gynt character, who is portrayed in Ibsen's play as quintessentially immoral and selfish.
The Peer Gynt Prize has been awarded every year since 1971. The recipient of the annual prize is chosen by the private company Peer Gynt AS and is given to a person or institution that has achieved distinction in society and contributed to improving Norway's international reputation in the company's view. It was first awarded to Einar Gerhardsen for his efforts as prime minister in rebuilding the country after World War II.Members of the Peer Gynt Festival itself, parliamentary representatives and former winners of the year's Peer Gynt prize may propose candidates for the award. Former award-winners form a network connected to the Peer Gynt Festival. The award is a bronze statuette of Peer Gynt riding a reindeer buck (Peer Gynt-statuetten), made by artist Carl Bilgrei.The Peer Gynt Prize award ceremony takes place during the Peer Gynt Festival (Peer Gynt-stemnet) at Vinstra in Gudbrandsdalen, one of Norway's leading festivals. Peer Gynt Festival is a 12-day cultural festival that takes place in the beginning of August each year. The first Festival was held in 1928, for the centennial of Henrik Ibsen's birth.
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