NEW YORK (AP) — A rare first printing of the U.S. Constitution sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $43.2 million, a record price for a document or book sold at auction.

The buyer, hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin, will loan the document to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, for public exhibition, Sotheby’s announced Friday.

Griffin was the CEO and founder of Citadel Multinational Hedge Fund. He outbid an international crowd of 17,000 cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

“The U.S. Constitution is a sacred document that enshrines the rights of every American and all those who aspire to be,” Griffin said in a statement. “That is why I intend to ensure that this copy of our Constitution will be available for all Americans and visitors to view and appreciate in our museums and other public spaces.”

Kenneth Griffin (hedge fund manager) will purchase the document for exhibition at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art located in Bentonville.
via Associated Press

Crystal Bridges board chairperson Olivia Walton said, “We are honored to exhibit one of the most important documents in our nation’s history from our location in the heartland of America.”

Alice Walton, daughter of Sam Walton, opened the museum in 2011.

The document that Griffin purchased at Thursday night’s auction was one of 13 known copies of the first printing of the Constitution and one of only two in private hands.

The Constitution’s last printing was sold at auction in 1988 by S. Howard Goldman, a real estate developer.

Proceeds from Thursday’s sale will benefit a foundation established by Goldman’s widow, Dorothy Tapper Goldman, to further the understanding of constitutional principles.

“Tonight’s sale of this exceptionally rare and important printing of the Constitution was a monumental and historic occasion,” Selby Kiffer, Sotheby’s senior international specialist for books and manuscripts, said in a statement.

Kiffer said the auction result reflects how relevant the Constitution remains, “not only in America but for global democracy.”

ConstitutionDAO was the underbidder. It announced on Twitter that it would raise millions to purchase the Constitution. DAO stands decentralized autonomy organization. This is a type community-run company that runs on blockchain technology.

ConstitutionDAO tweeted Thursday night, “We showed the world what crypto and web3, onboarding thousands of people in the process, including museum curators and art directors who are now excited to keep learning.”

The group added, “We were the first DAO Sothebys has ever worked with, but we’re sure we won’t be the last one.”

The previous auction record for a book or manuscript was set in 1994 when Bill Gates purchased the Codex Leicester by Leonardo da Vinci at Christie’s for $30.8 million.



Source: HuffPost.com.

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