Russian journalist Muratov’s Nobel medal nets $103.5m at auction

Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov's Nobel Peace Prize medal netted $103.5 million at auction on Monday.

New York, 21 June 2022 (dpa/MIA) — Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov’s Nobel Peace Prize medal netted $103.5 million at auction on Monday.

All proceeds from the sale will go to UNICEF, the UN children’s fund, for its humanitarian response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.

“Mr. Muratov, with the full support of his staff at Novaya Gazeta, is allowing us to auction his medal not as a collectible but as an event that he hopes will positively impact the lives of millions of Ukrainian refugees,” New York auction house Heritage Auctions said.

He was jointly awarded the prize in 2021 with Philippine journalist Maria Ressa “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

Muratov is editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta, a Kremlin-critical publication that stopped publication in Russia earlier this year for fear of running afoul of laws that penalize criticism of what Moscow officially calls a “special military operation” or coverage that refers to it as a “war” or “invasion.”

Russian freelance journalists in exile have founded Novaya Gazeta Europe, which is legally independent of the editorial office in Moscow.

Heritage Auctions said the Norwegian Nobel Institute had endorsed the auction. “This generous act of humanitarianism is very much in the spirit of Alfred Nobel,” director Olav Njølstad said in a letter signalling the committee’s approval.

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