Nobel sold for Ukrainian kids shatters record at $103.5M

Bobby Caina Calvan
Associated Press

New York — The Nobel Peace Prize that Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov was auctioning off to raise money for Ukrainian child refugees sold Monday night for $103.5 million, shattering the old record for a Nobel.

Previously, the most ever paid for a Nobel Prize medal was in 2014, 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.

Three years later, the family of his co-recipient, Francis Crick, received $2.27 million in bidding run by Heritage Auctions, the same company that auctioned off Muratov’s medal Monday, on World Refugee Day.

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

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. The idea of the donation, he said, “is to give the children refugees a chance for a future.”

Muratov has said the proceeds will go directly to UNICEF in its efforts to help children displaced by the war in Ukraine.

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

In an interview before the auction, Muratov said he was particularly concerned about children who have been orphaned because of the conflict in Ukraine.

Associated Press writer Andrew Katell contributed to this report.