Dmitry Muratov said that the funds will be used directly for UNICEF’s efforts to help Ukrainian child refugees.
NEW YORK – The Nobel Peace Prize, auctioned by Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov to raise money for Ukrainian child refugees, broke the previous Nobel record by selling for $ 103.5 million on Monday night.
A spokeswoman for Heritage Auctions, which carried out the sale, could not confirm the identity of the buyer, but said the winning offer was made by proxy. The $ 103.5 million sale turns into 100 million Swiss francs, indicating that the buyer is from abroad.
The live auction took place on World Refugee Day. The highest-paid Nobel Prize in 2014 was $ 4.76 million in 2014, when James Watson, who co-discovered the structure of DNA, sold the Nobel Prize in 1962.
Three years later, the family of its co-buyer, Francis Crick, received $ 2.27 million at an auction run by Heritage Auctions.
Muratov, who won a gold medal in October 2021, helped establish Russia’s independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta and was its editor-in-chief when it closed in March amid Kremlin harassment of journalists and public outcry after the Russian occupation. Of Ukraine.
It was Muratov’s idea to put his prize up for auction, announcing that he had donated the $ 500,000 cash prize to charity. According to him, the idea of the donation is “to give refugee children a chance for the future.”
Muratov said the proceeds would go directly to UNICEF’s efforts to help children displaced by the war in Ukraine.
175 grams of 23-carat gold in Muratov’s medal will melt and cost about $ 10,000.
In an interview with The Associated Press before the auction, Muratov expressed particular concern about children orphaned by the conflict in Ukraine.
“We want to give them back their future,” he said.
He added that important international sanctions against Russia do not prevent humanitarian aid, such as drugs for rare diseases and bone marrow transplants, from reaching those in need.
In a video released by Heritage Auctions, which sells but receives no revenue, Muratov said: “As an example, this should be the start of a flash mob for people to auction off their valuables to help Ukrainians.” .
Muratov shared last year’s Nobel Peace Prize with Filipino journalist Maria Ressa.
The two journalists, each receiving their own medals, have been rewarded for fighting to protect free speech in their home countries despite persecution, government attacks and even death threats.
Muratov sharply criticized Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the war that caused nearly 5 million Ukrainians to flee to other countries for security in February and created the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II.
Independent journalists in Russia are controlled by the Kremlin, although not directly targeted by the government. In the more than two decades since Putin came to power, at least four journalists, including at least four from Muratov’s newspaper, have been killed.
In April, Muratov said he was attacked with red paint while on a Russian train.
Muratov left Russia for Western Europe on Thursday to begin a tour of New York, where a live tender began Monday night.
Online offers have started to coincide with the International Children’s Day on June 1.
At the beginning of Monday, the high offer was only $ 550,000. The purchase price was expected to rise, but not more than $ 100 million.
“It’s a very lucrative deal,” said Joshua Benesh, chief strategy officer at Heritage Auctions. “Not everyone in the world is awarded the Nobel Prize at auction, and there is no Nobel Prize that goes through the auction block every day of the week.”
Since its inception in 1901, it has won nearly 1,000 Nobel Prizes for its achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and the development of peace.
The ongoing war and international humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering of victims in Ukraine will increase interest, Benesh said, adding that it is difficult to predict how much someone will be willing to pay for a medal.
“I think Monday will definitely be an excitement,” Benesh said. “This is a unique item sold under unique conditions … an important act of generosity and such an important humanitarian crisis.”
Muratov and Heritage officials said that even those who were left out of the tender could help by making a direct donation to UNICEF.
Associated Press writer Andrew Cutell contributed to the report.
The Nobel Peace Prize has been put up for auction to help Ukrainian children
Source link The Nobel Peace Prize has been put up for auction to help Ukrainian children