The 2019 Right Livelihood Award Sculpture by Tony Cragg (Photo: Daniel Hägglund)

The new Right Livelihood Award Sculpture is made from recycled illegal guns

News / Press releases 31.10.2019

The 2019 Right Livelihood Award Sculpture by Tony Cragg (Photo: Daniel Hägglund)
The 2019 Right Livelihood Award Sculpture by Tony Cragg (Photo: Daniel Hägglund)

The Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Tony Cragg, one of the world’s foremost sculptors, has custom-designed the new Award. The sculpture is made from Humanium Metal by IM; a unique material made of recycled metal from gun destruction programs in Central America. Climate activist Greta Thunberg is among the first Laureates to receive the new Award Sculpture.

“Every day, around 1000 people are killed by guns in non-conflict areas around the globe. The Right Livelihood Award was founded to honour and support people who solve global problems. Creating the Award Sculpture from melted, illegal guns is a perfect match, says Ole von Uexkull, executive director of the Right Livelihood Foundation.

Gun violence is a global epidemic. To tackle this problem, the organisation IM Swedish Development Partner launched the Humanium Metal initiative in 2016, which aims to decrease gun violence and build inclusive and peaceful societies. The metal from seized firearms is melted and molded into units, called Humanium Metal, which are then made available for commercial production. The revenues go back to communities affected by gun violence. Products available on the market include watches and jewellery. Humanium Metal is sometimes referred to as “the most valuable metal in the world” as the destruction of guns contributes to removing weapons from the streets and saving lives. Soon, the first Right Livelihood Awards made from Humanium Metal will be given to climate activists Greta Thunberg from Sweden and nonviolent activist Aminatou Haidar from Western Sahara, among others.

Tony Cragg working in his studio in Germany (Photo: Daniel Biskup)
Tony Cragg working in his studio in Germany (Photo: Daniel Biskup)

“The Right Livelihood Award is one of the world’s most prestigious awards in sustainability, peace and social justice. We are thrilled and proud that the awards are now being created out of Humanium Metal. I hope that this will inspire to more sustainable collaborations between business, governments and civil society working for a more peaceful world”, says Martin Nihlgård, Secretary-General at IM Swedish Development Partner. Famous British sculptor Tony Cragg created the awards pro bono. Cragg is known for working with unconventional materials, such as Kevlar and industrial scraps, and can now add yet another unusual material to his list made of illegal guns. “It is a delight for me to participate in this context”, says Tony Cragg.

Laureates will receive their prizes at the 2019 Right Livelihood Award Presentation in Stockholm on 4 December. For the first time, the public is invited to participate in the Award Presentation as the Award celebrates its 40th anniversary. Edward Snowden, who received the Right Livelihood Award in 2014, will join the celebration via link from Moscow and the artists José González and Ane Brun will perform at the event. Tickets for the Award Presentation are available via

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A short film about the new Right Livelihood Award Sculpture (1,20 min), as well as high-resolution photos, are available here.



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