Washington: DNA pioneer James Watson, who helped discover the double helix after stealing research from Rosalind Franklin, will finally get his 23-carat gold Nobel medal back from the Russian purchaser who bought it for 4.75 million dollars.
Watson's medal went up for auction at Christie's in New York, where it was sold by telephone auction to Alisher Usmanov, owner of the English football club Arsenal and the richest man in Russia, the Verge reported.
Watson, who got 4.1 million dollars from the auction, said while putting his medal up for sale that he wanted to reenter public life, after a series of racist 2007 comments about the intelligence of Africans.
He had planned to use the money to buy a painting by David Hockney and also said about donating some of the money to academic institutions, like the University of Chicago.
However, Usmanov said that in his opinion, a situation in which an outstanding scientist has to sell a medal recognizing his achievements is unacceptable and as is one of the greatest biologists in the history of mankind, his award for the discovery of DNA structure must belong to him.