STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The prize money given to Nobel laureates is to be cut by a fifth, the foundation behind the prestigious awards said on Monday, after a decade of overspending that has stretched its finances.
The Nobel Foundation said the money for the awards, given for excellence in the fields of science, literature and peace, would fall to 8 million Swedish crowns ($1.12 million).
The capital that forms the base for the awards was donated in the will of dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and is managed by the foundation, which was set up in 1900.
The foundation said in a statement that costs had exceeded returns from interest and investments on the capital over the past decade, making it necessary to lower the prize money from the previous 10 million crowns.
"It is the Nobel Foundation that is responsible for the prize money remaining at a high level over the long run," said Chief Executive Lars Heikensten.
"We have made the assessment that it is important to take necessary measures in good time."
The foundation said it had also begun work to cut costs in administration and expenses related to the Nobel Prize celebrations, which take place every December in Stockholm and Oslo. This year's laureates will receive the reduced prize money. ($1 = 7.1626 Swedish crowns)
Reporting by Niklas Pollard