Nobel auctioned by Russian journalist for Ukrainian kids fetches record $103.5m
The Nobel Peace Prize winner Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov has auctioned off his gold medal to raise aid for children refugees of Ukraine war. The prize has sold for $103.5m (£84.5m), shattering the record for a Nobel. “I was hoping that there was going to be an enormous amount of solidarity,” Muratov said after the sale. “But I was not expecting this to be such a huge amount.”
Shattering the old record
Before this latest auction sale, the most ever paid for Nobel prize medal was in 2014. James Watson, whose co-discovery of the structure of DNA had made him the winner of a Nobel prize in 1962, sold his medal for $4.76m. Three years later, the family of his co-recipient, Francis Crick, received $2.27m in bidding by Heritage Auctions – the same company that had auctioned off Muratov’s medal on Monday, that is observed as World Refugee Day.
Journey of the Russian journalist
Muratov was awarded the gold medal in October 2021. He had helped found the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and was its editor-in-chief when it was shuttered down in March as part of Kremlin’s crackdown on country’s journalists and public dissent as Moscow invaded Kyiv.
The fund towards Ukrainian children displaced due to war
The idea for auctioning off his prize was Muratov’s. He had at this point already announced of donating the accompanying $500,000 cash award to charity. He said that the idea of the donation “is to give the children refugees a chance for a future”.
Muratov has said that the proceeds of auction will directly go to UNICEF in its efforts towards helping the children who have been displaced by the war in Ukraine. After being melted down, the 175 grams of 23-karat gold in the medal won by Muratov would be worth about $10,000.