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Nobel Prize Sold By Russian For Ukrainian Refugee Kids Fetches $103.5 Million

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Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov auctioned off his Nobel Peace price for a record shattering $103.5 Million. The proceeds from the auctioning will go towards helping Ukrainian refugee children. The previous record was set when James Watson, whose co-discovery of the structure of DNA earned him a Nobel Prize in 1962, sold his medal for $4.76 Million.

In 2017, the family of his co-recipient, Francis Crick auctioned off Crick’s medal for $2.27 Million in a bidding held by Heritage Auctions. Incidentally Heritage Auctions is the same firm that auctioned off Muratov’s medal on World Refugee Day, which was on Monday.

Muratov helped found the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and was its editor-in-chief when it was shut down in March by Kremlin which was cracking down on journalists and public dissent following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Having already announced he was donating the accompanying $500,000 cash award to charity, Muratov said that the donation was done to give, “to give the children refugees a chance for a future”.

UNICEF is set to receive the funds from the donation and will utilise it towards helping children displaced by the war in Ukraine. If melted, the 175 grams of 23-carat gold in Muratov’s medal could possibly fetch $10,000.

Speaking to The Associated Press before the auction, Muratov said he was particularly concerned about children who have been orphaned because of the conflict in Ukraine.

“We want to return their future,” he said. Muratov further added that the sanctions against Russia should not prevent humanitarian aid such as medicine for rare diseases and bone marrow transplants, from reaching those in need.

“It has to become a beginning of a flash mob as an example to follow so people auction their valuable possessions to help Ukrainians,” Muratov said in a video released by Heritage Auctions.

Muratov and journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines jointly shared the Nobel Peace Prize. Both were given the honour for their fight to preserve free speech in their respective countries despite being attacked by their governments, facing harassment and even death threats.

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