MOSCOW, December 9 (Sputnik) — Russian businessman and philanthropist Alisher Usmanov has bought the Nobel Prize, received by American biologist James Watson back in 1962, for $4.1 million at a Christie’s sale in order to return it to the owner, Usmanov's press service said Tuesday.
This was the first time a Nobel prize has been sold by a living recipient.
With Usmanov’s help, Watson will now be able to use the funds to contribute to universities where he has previously worked or studied, including the University of Chicago, Indiana University, the University of Cambridge, and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Sixty-one-year old Alisher Usmanov is one of the most famous Russian businessmen with a fortune estimated at $16.1 billion, according to the Forbes 2014 ranking. His fortune was built through steel and mining operations. His holdings also include stakes in Russia’s mobile phone operator Megafon, and the country’s largest business daily Kommersant.
Usmanov is also one of the world’s most significant philanthropists. According to the Sunday Times Giving List 2013, Usmanov donated $112.6 million in just 12 months.