Auction of Nobel Prize to benefit refugees

June 21, 2022
A woman holds an umbrella for a small child.

“I don’t think the object mattered. 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.’”

Chief strategy officer Josh Benesh, Heritage Auctions. The company hosted the auction of a Nobel Peace Prize medal awarded to a Russian journalist, who donated the resulting funds to Ukrainian refugees.

Why It Matters: The final auction price for the Nobel Prize medal crossed an unprecedented amount of $103 million.

Who: Journalist Dmitri Muratov received the Nobel Prize last year for his "efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace" through his work as editor-in-chief of an independent Russian newspaper, "Novaya Gazeta."

What: Muratov auctioned off his Nobel medal in order to donate the funds to UNICEF. Before bidding began, Muratov said, “We hope that this will serve as an example for other people like a flash mob, for other people to auction their valuable possessions, their heirlooms, to help refugees, Ukrainian refugees around the world."

Who Won? No one knows who ultimately bought the prize, but the bidding had slowed around the $16 million mark before shooting above $100 million.

Why: Muratov says he was inspired by a Danish physicist who did something similar more than eight decades ago auctioning off his medal for those in need due to the 1939 Soviet invasion of Finland.

Read more here: Russian Journalist’s Nobel Medal Sells for $103.5 Million

Here's the feature or "lot" of the medal from the auction house

by Jenna Lee,