Russian Journalist Dmitry Muratov Auctions Noble Peace Prize For $149 Million To Help Ukrainian Refugees

Smashes world record


Article heading image for Russian Journalist Dmitry Muratov Auctions Noble Peace Prize For $149 Million To Help Ukrainian Refugees

AP News

A Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov has sold for almost $150 million to raise money for Ukrainian child refugees.

Sold on Monday by Heritage Auctions the hammer came down on the Nobel Prize medal for a record $US103.5 million ($A149 million).

Previously, the highest amount paid for a Nobel Prize award was in 2014, when James Watson's 1962 medal awarded for co-discovering DNA structuring, was sold for $US4.76 million ($A6.86 million). 

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Awarded the the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2021, Mr Muratov was editor-in-chief at Novaya Gazeta, until it was shut down in March 2022 amid Russia's suppression on journalists and public resistance.

Mr Muratov's said the idea of the donation "is to give the children refugees a chance for a future".

Proceeds from the donation will go to UNICEF's efforts to help children displaced by the war in Ukraine.

Speaking to the Associated Press, Mr Muratov said it is of the utmost importance that international sanctions levied against Russia do not prevent humanitarian aid from reaching those in need.

"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 in a video released by Heritage Auctions.

"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's idea to auction off his prize, was announced after he had already donated the accompanying $US500,000 cash award to charity.

Online bidding begun on June 1 to coincide with International Children's Day and concluded three-weeks later on World Refugee Day.

Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year with journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines, Mr Muratov and his colleague were recognised for their efforts to preserve free speech in their respective countries.

Heritage Auctions has said it will not take any share of the proceeds from the sale.

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22 June 2022

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