Tunisia's Nobel medal to go on show at Bardo Museum

AFP , Thursday 10 Dec 2015

The winners of the 2015 Nobel Prize, Tunisian National Dialouge Quartet members, (L-R) Secretary General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Houcine Abassi, President of the Tunisian Order of Lawyers Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh December 10, 2015 (AFP)

The Nobel Peace Prize medal awarded this year to four Tunisian civil society groups will be displayed at the country's Bardo Museum where 21 foreigners were killed in a jihadist attack, a member of the quartet told AFP on Thursday.

"This prize is not one awarded to the quartet exclusively," said Houcine Abassi, secretary general of the powerful UGTT union, adding that it also honoured the victims of the Jasmine Revolution in 2011 and jihadist attacks, women and young people, political parties, and the entire Tunisian society.

"Therefore... we will put this prize on display at the National Tunisian museum, the Bardo Museum, the very place that was targeted by terrorism in a symbolism of this dialogue, a dialogue that will prevail and will be victorious over terrorism," Abassi said in an interview just hours before the formal award ceremony in Oslo.

On March 18, two young Tunisians gunned down 21 foreign tourists and a policeman at the museum in Tunis before being shot dead. The Islamic State jihadist group claimed the attack, although Tunisian authorities have blamed it on a branch of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

The National Dialogue Quartet will receive the Nobel prize at a ceremony in the presence of Norway's King Harald and the Norwegian government.

The Nobel committee hailed the quartet for helping to save Tunisia's transition to democracy at a sensitive moment in 2013 when the process was in danger of collapsing because of widespread social unrest.

The group orchestrated a lengthy and thorny "national dialogue" between the Islamists of the Ennahda party and their opponents.

The Quartet is made up of the Human Rights League, the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), the Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) and the Order of Lawyers.

Each of the four organisations will receive a solid gold replica of the medal.

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