At an auction in Paris, a manuscript by the physicist Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity was auctioned for a record sum of 11.6 million euros. The document thus achieved much higher sales than expected on Tuesday evening at Christie’s auction house. Einstein wrote it in 1913 and 1914 with his colleague and confidante Michele Besso.
Christie’s had estimated the value of the document in the run-up to the auction at two to three million euros. It is “undoubtedly the most valuable Einstein manuscript” that has ever been offered at auction. The physicist’s handwritten research manuscripts from this period are “extremely rare,” Christie’s explained. Another well-known document from this crucial phase in Einstein’s research, the “Zurich Notebook”, is in the Einstein Archives in Jerusalem.
Einstein’s theory of relativity fundamentally revolutionized human understanding of the universe and important physical phenomena. It is one of the great physical theories of the 20th century.
Einstein’s manuscripts have already generated revenues of millions in the past. A letter about God went under the hammer in 2018 for 2.8 million euros, a letter about the secret of happiness brought in around 1.39 million euros in 2017. (APA / AFP)