The Nobel Peace Prize medal that Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov has put on auction sale to raise money for refugee children from Ukraine has shattered the old record for a Nobel and sold Monday night for $103.5 million.
According to the spokesperson for Heritage Auctions, which handled the live auction sale in New York that happened on World Refugee Day, the winning bid was made by proxy so they could not confirm the identity of the buyer, but the sale was translated into Swiss francs, hinting that the buyer is from overseas.
The statement Heritage Auctions shared says that all proceeds from the auction will benefit UNICEF’s humanitarian response for Ukraine’s displaced children.
The most ever paid for a Nobel Prize medal previously was $4.76 million paid in 2014 when James Watson, whose co-discovery of the structure of DNA earned him a Nobel Prize in 1962, sold his prize.
In bidding also run by Heritage Auctions, the family of his co-recipient, Francis Crick, received $2.27 million for the medal three years later.
Muratov, the editor of Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia’s last major independent newspapers he co-founded in 1991, won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize along with Maria Ressa of the Philippines.
Muratov pledged to donate about $500,000 of that prize money to charities and dedicated his prize to the six Novaya Gazeta journalists murdered since 2000, one of which was Anna Politkovskaya, a vocal critic of Russia’s war in Chechnya, who was killed in 2006 in her Moscow apartment building.
The Nobel Prize committee explained their decision by saying the two journalists were awarded for their efforts to safeguard the precondition for democracy and lasting peace- the freedom of expression.
According to the Committee, their work and the courageous fight for freedom of expression have angered the authorities in Russia and the Philippines.