‘Very rare’ Einstein manuscript auctioned for more than 11 million euros

A manuscript by physicist and Nobel Prize winner Albert Einstein has yielded an amount of 11.7 million euros at an auction in Paris. Auction house Christie’s had taken into account an amount of 2 to 3 million euros in advance.

It involves 54 pages of notes from 1913 and 1914 on general relativity that Einstein would publish in 1915. About half of the document was written by Swiss engineer Michele Besso, with whom Einstein worked on the theory.

The auctioned document is one of only two surviving documents that contain notes on the world-famous theory, which describes gravity as a geometric property of space and time. Thanks to Besso, the manuscript has been preserved.

“Documents of Einstein from before 1919 are very rare, that’s what makes it special,” says Christie’s auction expert Vincent Belloy. “Einstein kept very few notes, so the mere fact that this manuscript survived makes it exceptional.”

Einstein (1879-1955) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921, not for his theory of relativity but for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. He is considered the founder of modern physics.