A manuscript co-written by Albert Einstein on his theory of relativity was auctioned on Tuesday for 11.7 million euros (about $13 million). The manuscript was sold by Christie's in Paris to an anonymous buyer. Christie's said on its website that the 54-page working manuscript, co-written by Einstein and Michele Besso between June 1913 and early 1914, was a crucial stage in the development of the General Theory of Relativity. It is one of only two surviving manuscripts documenting the genesis of the theory, and provides a fascinating glimpse into the mind of the scientist, Christie's added. The auction house had previously estimated the value of the manuscript at between 2.4 million and 3.5 million dollars. In 2019, an exhibition marking the 140th anniversary of Einstein's birth was held in Shanghai, China. Handwritten pages of the General Theory of Relativity and famous equation E=MC2 (squared) were displayed.
The 54 pages of paper, around half-filled with Einstein's handwriting, are one of only two working documents known in which the thinker approaches his famous theory that laid the groundwork for modern cosmology and technology such as GPS navigation. They had been kept in the custody of the Swiss physicist Michele Besso. "That's also what makes it particularly important given that working documents by Einstein before 1919 are extremely rare," said Vincent Belloy, an expert at Christie's who hosted the auction in Paris."Einstein is someone who kept very few notes, so the mere fact that the manuscript survived and made its way to us already makes it absolutely extraordinary," he added.