Earlier this week, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was awarded a prize for statesmanship from Indonesia, specifically the Bali-based Sukarno Centre.


Rachmawati Soekarnoputri, the announcer of the news and the daughter of Indonesia’s founding president, said:

We will give the award to President Kim Jong-un because he has been consistent in carrying out the ideals of the great leader, Kim Il-sung, which is to fight imperialism.

So this will be a sequel, where we give the award to Kim Jong-un for his persistence in fighting neo-colonialism.

She dismissed consternation around the decision, saying, the “allegations about human rights abuses are untrue," and amount to "Western propaganda".

Revelling in this most bizarre decision, let’s take a look at some of the biggest award mis-steps in history.

1. The 1949 Nobel Prize for Medicine

In 1949, the Nobel Committee awarded the Prize for Medicine to Portuguese neurologist António Egas Moniz.

His breakthrough was that he oversaw the world’s first ever leucotomy - now usually known as a lobotomy.

Moniz arguably could have been awarded the prize in prior years for his advances in detecting brain tumours, a more favourable and more deserving reason.

However, he was instead awarded the 1949 prize for the barbarous surgical technique involving the scraping of tissue after drilling a nail into the skull.

Lobotomies gained brief popularity the world over in the 1950s as a technique for treating mental illness, particularly in the United States.

Despite calls for the committee to reclaim it or reissue it, the prize remains to this today.

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