Posted by on June 21, 2022 11:35 am
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Russian journalist sells Nobel Peace Prize for $103.5M to aid Ukrainians

Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of the influential Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, speaks to attendees during auctioning of his 23-karat gold medal of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, at the Times Center, Monday, June 20, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez) Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AP

Russian journalist sells Nobel Peace Prize for $103.5M to aid Ukrainians

Ryan King June 21, 10:33 AMJune 21, 10:33 AM Video Embed

A Russian journalist auctioned off his highly coveted Nobel Peace Prize medal Monday night for a record-breaking $103.5 million to raise funds for children in Ukraine.

Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov, who won the award last October, pledged to contribute the auction money to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund to aid Ukrainian children who have been displaced by the monthslong Russian invasion.

“The most important message today is for people to understand that there is a war going on and we need to help people who are suffering the most,” he said.

RUSSIAN JOURNALIST AUCTIONS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FOR DISPLACED UKRAINIAN CHILDREN

He won the prestigious medal in October 2021 alongside Maria Ressa of the Philippines “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

The sale Monday, which coincided with World Refugee Day, appears to have reaped record revenue for the auction of a Nobel Prize medal. The next highest-earning was $4.76 million when James Watson sold off the prize that he had won in the 1960s for helping to discover the double helix structure of DNA in 2014.

“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,” he said Monday, according to the Associated Press.

Muratov, editor of independent Russian news outlet Novaya Gazeta, became a frequent critic of the Russian government. Recently, Muratov has lambasted the war in Ukraine and directed heavy disparagement toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In March, the newspaper announced it was suspending its operations due to a warning from state communication regulator Roskomnadzor over its content. Six of the outlet’s journalists have been killed since the paper was founded in 1993. In April, it began operating out of Latvia to avoid censorship from Russia.

That same month, Muratov was splashed with red paint while traveling on a train. The United States subsequently accused Russian intelligence of orchestrating the attack.

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Heritage Auctions, which oversaw the auction of his medal, previously sold five Nobel prizes, according to the New York Times. The organization will not take a share of the sale, the outlet reported.

“I don’t think the object mattered,” Josh Benesh, the chief strategy officer for Heritage Auctions, said. “I think the object is a metaphor. It’s a symbol for something. It’s the opportunity to stand up and say, ‘This is a cause that has meaning and it’s a problem that a donation can begin to fix.’”

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