Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dmitry A. Muratov

WOf the hat The price of peace?

That question could be partially answered today (Macau time) when Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov auctioned the Nobel Peace Prize medal. The proceeds go directly to UNICEF’s efforts to help children displaced by the war in Ukraine.

Muratov, who was awarded the gold medal in October 2021, helped establish an independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and in March as Kremlin cracked down on journalists following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and expressed public opposition. He was the editor-in-chief when the publication was closed. ..

It was Muratov’s idea to auction the prize money, and he had already announced that he would donate the accompanying $ 500,000 cash prize to charity. The idea of ​​donations is “to give children refugees a chance for the future,” he said.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Muratov said he was particularly worried about children who were orphaned due to the conflict in Ukraine.

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

He added that it is important that international sanctions imposed on Russia do not prevent people in need of humanitarian aid such as treatment of rare diseases and bone marrow transplants.

“It must be the beginning of a flashmob as an example of how people auction valuable property to help Ukrainians,” Muratov said in a video released by Heritage Auctions. ..

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

Two journalists, each receiving their own medals, were praised for their fight to maintain freedom of speech in their respective countries despite being threatened with harassment, government and even murder. ..

Muratov was very critical of the 2014 merger of the Crimean Peninsula and the war that began in February, with nearly 5 million Ukrainians fleeing to other countries for security and World War II. Since then it has caused the greatest humanitarian crisis in Europe.

Russia’s independent journalists are being monitored by the Kremlin, if not the full target of the government. About 20 journalists have been killed, including at least four who have worked in Muratov’s newspapers since Putin came to power more than 20 years ago.

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

Muratov left Russia on Thursday for Western Europe and began his trip to New York City, where live bidding began yesterday.

Online bidding began on June 1st in line with compliance with International Children’s Day. Live bidding takes place on World Refugee Day.

As of Monday morning, the highest bid was $ 550,000. Purchase prices are expected to rise to millions.

Joshua Venesh, Chief Strategy Officer of Heritage Auctions, said: “Not everyone in the world has a Nobel Prize in the auction, and no day of the week has a Nobel Prize that goes beyond the block of the auction.”

Since its founding in 1901, nearly 1,000 Nobel laureates have been awarded for their achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace.

The Nobel Prize medal was paid the most in 2014, when James Watson, who co-discovered the structure of the DNA, won the Nobel Prize in 1962 and sold the medal for $ 4.76 million. Three years later, his co-recipient Francis Crick’s family received a $ 2.27 million bid run by Heritage Auctions, the same company that auctions Muratov’s medals.

Melted, the 175 grams of 23 carat gold contained in Muratov’s medal is worth about $ 10,000.

The ongoing war and international humanitarian efforts to ease the suffering of affected people in Ukraine must be intriguing, Venesh said, and no matter how much someone pays for the medal. He added that it is difficult to predict what is happening.

“I’m sure you’ll be excited,” Venesh said. “It’s a unique item that seems to be sold under unique circumstances. […] Generous and serious deeds, and such a serious humanitarian crisis. “

Muratov and Heritage officials said that even those who did not participate in the bid could be helped by donating directly to UNICEF. BOBBY CAINA CALVAN, New York, MDT / AP

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