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Russian tycoon buys Nobel prize medal of DNA scientist James Watson, plans to return it

The medal was sold for $4.1 million at Christie’s auction

MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. Russian businessman Alisher Usmanov has bought the Nobel prize medal of American biologist James Watson for $4.1 million at Christie’s auction, Usmanov’s press servicer reported on Tuesday. The Russian billionaire plans to return the medal to the scientist who was awarded the Nobel prize in 1962 for helping to discover the double-helix structure of DNA. Watson, 86, sold the medal to donate the funds from the sale for scientific research.

“In my opinion, a situation in which an outstanding scientist has to sell a medal recognising his achievements is unacceptable,” Usmanov said. “James Watson is one of the greatest biologists in the history of mankind and his award for the discovery of DNA structure must belong to him. “I wouldn’t like the medal of the distinguished scientist to be an object on sale,” Usmanov is quoted by his press service. “Dr. Watson’s work contributed to cancer research, the illness from which my father died. It is important for me that the money that I spent on this medal will go to supporting scientific research, and the medal will stay with the person who deserved it.”