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Russian journalist sells Nobel Prize for Ukrainian children

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What is the value of peace?

That query could possibly be partially answered Monday night time when Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov auctions off his Nobel Peace Prize medal. The proceeds will go on to UNICEF in its efforts to assist youngsters displaced by the struggle in Ukraine.

Muratov, awarded the gold medal in October 2021, helped discovered the unbiased 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 within the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It was Muratov’s concept to public sale off his prize, having already introduced he was donating the accompanying €475,000 ($500,000) money award to charity. The thought of the donation, he mentioned, “is to give the children refugees a chance for a future”.

Muratov mentioned he was notably involved about youngsters who’ve been orphaned due to the battle in Ukraine.

“We want to return their future,” he said.

He added that it’s important international sanctions levied against Russia do not prevent humanitarian aid, such as medicine for rare diseases and bone marrow transplants, from reaching those in need.

Muratov shared the Nobel Peace Prize last year with journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines.

The two journalists, who each received their own medals, were honoured for their battles to preserve free speech in their respective countries, despite coming under attack by harassment, their governments and even death threats.

Muratov has been highly critical of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and the war launched in February that has caused nearly 5 million Ukrainians to flee to other countries for safety, creating the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II.

Independent journalists in Russia have come under scrutiny by the Kremlin, if not outright targets of the government. Since Putin came into power more than two decades ago, nearly two dozen journalists have been killed, including at least four who had worked for Muratov’s newspaper.

In April, Muratov said he was attacked with red paint while aboard a Russian train.

Muratov left Russia for Western Europe on Thursday to begin his trip to New York City, where live bidding will begin Monday afternoon.

Online bids began on 1 June to coincide with the International Children’s Day observance. Monday’s live bidding falls on World Refugee Day.

As of early Monday morning, the high bid was $550,000 (€520,000). The purchase price is expected to spiral upward, possibly into the millions.

“It’s a very bespoke deal,” mentioned Joshua Benesh, the chief technique officer for Heritage Auctions. “Not everyone in the world has a Nobel Prize to auction and not every day of the week that there’s a Nobel Prize crossing the auction block.”

Can you purchase a Nobel Prize?

Since its inception in 1901, there have been practically a thousand recipients of the Nobel Prizes honouring achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or drugs, literature and the development of peace.

Essentially the most ever paid for a Nobel Prize medal was in 2014, when James Watson, whose co-discovery of the construction of DNA earned him a Nobel Prize in 1962, offered his medal for $4.76 million (€4.52 million). Three years later, the household of his co-recipient, Francis Crick, obtained $2.27 million (€2.15 million) in bidding run by Heritage Auctions, the identical firm that’s auctioning off Muratov’s medal.

Melted down, the 175 grams of 23-karat gold contained in Muratov’s medal could be price about $10,000 (€9,500).

The continued struggle and worldwide humanitarian efforts to alleviate the struggling of these affected in Ukraine are sure to stoke curiosity, Benesh mentioned, including it is arduous to foretell how a lot somebody could be keen to pay for the medal.

“I think there’s certainly going to be some excitement Monday,” Benesh mentioned. “It’s it’s such a unique item being sold under unique circumstances … a significant act of generosity, and such a significant humanitarian crisis.”

Muratov and Heritage officers mentioned even these out of the bidding can nonetheless assist by donating on to UNICEF.

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