Sale of Muratov’s Nobel medal smashes all records

Published June 22, 2022
NEW YORK: Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov poses for the media during an event before the auctioning of his Nobel Peace Prize medal to raise funds for children displaced by the war in Ukraine.—AFP
NEW YORK: Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov poses for the media during an event before the auctioning of his Nobel Peace Prize medal to raise funds for children displaced by the war in Ukraine.—AFP

OSLO: The auction of Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov’s Nobel gold medal for a whopping $103.5 million to benefit children displaced by the war in Ukraine smashed the record for Nobel medals.

The Nobel Peace Prize medal was sold to an as yet unidentified phone bidder at a sale in New York on Monday organised by Heritage Auctions.

Muratov won the medal, made of 150 grammes of 18-carat gold, in 2021 when he was awarded the Peace Prize together with Maria Ressa of the Philippines “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression”.

The proceeds of Monday’s sale far exceed the previous record of $4.76 million for the sale of a Nobel medal in 2014.

“Muratov consulted the Nobel committee beforehand and was assured that the Nobel committee supported his decision to sell his medal so that the proceeds could benefit children and refugees of Ukraine,” the committee’s secretary Olav Njolstad said.

“It’s an excellent purpose. We can only congratulate him on the result and hope that the aid comes to those who need it the most”, he wrote in an email.

Over the past 120 years, the Nobel Prize has been awarded to 975 individuals and organisations, honouring achievements in the fields of peace, literature, medicine, physics, chemistry and, since 1969, economics.

Swedish scientist and philanthropist Alfred Nobel created the prizes in his 1895 will for those who “have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind”.

Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2022

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