Nobel sold for Ukrainian kids shatters record at $103.5M

Date:


NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

The Nobel Peace Prize auctioned off by Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov to raise money for Ukrainian child refugees sold Monday night for $103.5 million, shattering the old record for a Nobel.

A spokesperson for Heritage Auctions, which handled the sale, could not confirm the identity of the buyer but said the winning bid was made by proxy. The $103.5 million sale translates to $100 million Swiss francs, hinting that the buyer is from overseas.

“I was hoping that there was going to be an enormous amount of solidarity, but I was not expecting this to be such a huge amount,” Muratov said in an interview after bidding in the nearly three-week auction ended on World Refugee Day.

Previously, the most ever paid for a Nobel Prize medal was $4.76 million in 2014, when James Watson, whose co-discovery of the structure of DNA earned him a Nobel Prize in 1962, sold his. Three years later, the family of his co-recipient, Francis Crick, received $2.27 million in bidding also run by Heritage Auctions.

BEN STILLER MEETS WITH UKRAINE PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY AS A UNHCR GOODWILL AMBASSADOR

Muratov, who was awarded the gold medal in October 2021, helped found the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and was the publication’s editor-in-chief when it shut down in March amid the Kremlin’s clampdown on journalists and public dissent in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It was Muratov’s idea to auction off his prize, having already announced he was donating the accompanying $500,000 cash award to charity.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov poses next to his gold medal before it is auctioned at the Times Center, Monday, June 20, 2022, in New York.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov poses next to his gold medal before it is auctioned at the Times Center, Monday, June 20, 2022, in New York.
(AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Muratov has said the proceeds will go directly to UNICEF in its efforts to help children displaced by the war in Ukraine. Just minutes after bidding ended, UNICEF told the auction house it had already received the funds.

Online bids had begun June 1 to coincide with the International Children’s Day observance. Many bids came by telephone or online. The winning bid, tendered by telephone, catapulted the bidding from the low millions to astronomical levels.

UKRAINE’S ZELENSKYY VISITS FRONT LINES IN SOUTH AS RUSSIAN FORCES POUND STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT CITY IN EAST

Muratov had left Russia on Thursday to begin his trip to New York City, where live bidding began Monday evening.

Early Monday, the high bid was only $550,000. The purchase price had been expected to spiral upward – but not over $100 million.

MIKE POMPEO: KISSINGER ‘WRONG,’ US MUST SUPPORT, NOT ‘PRESSURE’ UKRAINE OVER RUSSIA NEGOTIATIONS

“I can’t believe it. I’m awestruck. Personally, I’m flabbergasted. I’m stunned. I don’t really know what happened in there,” said Joshua Benesh, the chief strategy officer for Heritage Auctions.

“We knew that there was a tremendous groundswell of interest in the last couple of days by people who were moved by Dimitry’s story, by Dimitry’s act of generosity, that the global audience was listening tonight,” he said.

Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov's 23-karat gold medal is displayed before being auctioned Monday, June 20, 2022, in New York.

Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov’s 23-karat gold medal is displayed before being auctioned Monday, June 20, 2022, in New York.
(AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Muratov and Heritage officials said even those out of the bidding can still help by donating directly to UNICEF.

Muratov shared the Nobel Peace Prize last year with journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines.

The two journalists, who each received their own medals, were honored for their battles to preserve free speech in their respective countries, despite coming under attack by harassment, their governments and even death threats.

A worker holds Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov's Nobel Peace Prize medal before it was sold, June 20, 2022, in New York.

A worker holds Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov’s Nobel Peace Prize medal before it was sold, June 20, 2022, in New York.
(AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Melted down, the 175 grams of 23-karat gold contained in Muratov’s medal would be worth about $10,000.

Muratov has been highly critical of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and the war launched in February that has caused nearly 5 million Ukrainians to flee to other countries for safety, creating the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II.

Independent journalists in Russia have come under scrutiny by the Kremlin, if not outright targets of the government. Since Putin came into power more than two decades ago, nearly two dozen journalists have been killed, including at least four who had worked for Muratov’s newspaper.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In April, Muratov said he was attacked with red paint while aboard a Russian train.

Since its inception in 1901, there have been nearly 1,000 recipients of the Nobel Prizes honoring achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and the advancement of peace.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:

Subscribe

Popular

More like this
Related

Brain tumour cases in UK rise by 50 percent in 20 years, NHS data reveals

The Brain Tumour Charity found diagnoses in England...

Nick Kyrgios ex-girlfriend breaks silence as Wimbledon star to appear in court

Nick Kyrgios' ex-partner has broken her silence after...

Princess Charlene steps out in £2k sleeveless dress – 'flattering on athletic shoulders'

“I like the dress, beautiful layout.”`Another account, @katieelizii added: “I...

Max Verstappen lays out conditions for quitting F1 as star shares retirement plans

Max Verstappen has said he will retire from...