What is the value of peace?
That query could possibly be partially answered Monday evening when Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov auctions off his Nobel Peace Prize medal. The proceeds will go on to UNICEF in its efforts to assist kids displaced by the conflict 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 $500,000 money award to charity. The thought of the donation, he mentioned, “is to provide the youngsters refugees an opportunity for a future.”
In an interview with The Related Press, Muratov mentioned he was notably involved about kids who’ve been orphaned due to the battle in Ukraine.
“We need to return their future,” he mentioned.
He added that it is vital worldwide sanctions levied in opposition to Russia don’t forestall humanitarian assist, reminiscent of drugs for uncommon ailments and bone marrow transplants, from reaching these in want.
“It has to develop into a starting of a flash mob for instance to comply with so individuals public sale their priceless possessions to assist Ukrainians,” Muratov mentioned in a video launched by Heritage Auctions, which is dealing with the sale however not taking any share of the proceeds .
Muratov shared the Nobel Peace Prize final yr with journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines.
The 2 journalists, who every acquired their very own medals, had been honored for his or her battles to protect free speech of their respective international locations, regardless of coming beneath assault by harassment, their governments and even demise threats.
Muratov has been extremely vital of Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and the conflict launched in February that has prompted almost 5 million Ukrainians to flee to different international locations for security, creating the most important humanitarian disaster in Europe since World Warfare II.
Unbiased journalists in Russia have come beneath scrutiny by the Kremlin, if not outright targets of the federal government. Since Putin got here into energy greater than 20 years in the past, almost two dozen journalists have been killed, together with not less than 4 who had labored for Muratov’s newspaper.
In April, Muratov mentioned he was attacked with crimson paint whereas aboard a Russian practice.
Muratov left Russia for Western Europe on Thursday to start his journey to New York Metropolis, the place reside bidding will start Monday afternoon.
On-line bids started June 1 to coincide with the Worldwide Youngsters’s Day observance. Monday’s reside bidding falls on World Refugee Day.
As of early Monday morning, the excessive bid was $550,000. The acquisition value is predicted to spiral upward, presumably into the tens of millions.
“It is a very bespoke deal,” mentioned Joshua Benesh, the chief technique officer for Heritage Auctions. “Not everybody on the planet has a Nobel Prize to public sale and never day-after-day of the week that there is a Nobel Prize crossing the public sale block.”
Since its inception in 1901, there have been almost 1,000 recipients of the Nobel Prizes honoring 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 USD 4.76 million. Three years later, the household of his co-recipient, Francis Crick, acquired USD 2.27 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 can be price about USD 10,000.
The continued conflict and worldwide humanitarian efforts to alleviate the struggling of these affected in Ukraine are sure to stoke curiosity, Benesh mentioned, including it is laborious to foretell how a lot somebody can be keen to pay for the medal.
“I feel there is definitely going to be some pleasure Monday,” Benesh mentioned. “It is it is such a novel merchandise being offered beneath distinctive circumstances … a major act of generosity, and such a major humanitarian disaster.”
Muratov and Heritage officers mentioned even these out of the bidding can nonetheless assist by donating on to UNICEF.