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Russian Tycoon Buys Nobel Medal to Give It Back to Winner
11.12.2014 18:27
Russian Tycoon Buys Nobel Medal to Give It Back to Winner
Alisher Usmanov

Russia's billionaire Alisher Usmanov has bought US scientist James Watson's Nobel Prize gold medal at the auction and now intends to return it to its winner.

      Usmanov said Mr Watson "deserved" the medal, and that he was "distressed" the scientist had felt forced to sell it. "James Watson is one of the greatest biologists in the history. I believe his researches will eventually help to cure cancer. And my father died of cancer. In my opinion, a situation in which an outstanding scientist has to sell a medal recognising his achievements is unacceptable", Usmanov said.

      The medal, awarded in 1962 for the discovery of the structure of DNA, sold for $4.8m (£3m) at auction. It was the first Nobel Prize to be put on sale by a living recipient.

      James Watson said he had been forced to put up the medal for auction in order to restore his reputation and good name. The scientist is still much criticized for the interview he gave seven years ago to Sunday Times in which he linked race to intelligence. Watson has said he intended to donate part of the proceeds to charities and to support scientific research.

Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Alisher Usmanov Nobel Prize Russian tycoons   

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