James D. Watson, Ph.D., who sold his Nobel Prize medal at auction last week, will get to keep it after all—thanks to one of the world’s “most powerful people.”

The winning bidder of the auction at which the medal was sold has surfaced, and said publicly he would return it to the co-discoverer of DNA’s double-helix structure.

“In my opinion, a situation in which an outstanding scientist has to sell a medal recognizing his achievements is unacceptable,” Alisher Usmanov said in a statement “James Watson is one of the greatest biologists in the history of mankind, and his award for the discovery of DNA structure must belong to him.

“It is important for me that the money that I spent on this medal will go to supporting scientific research,” added Usmanov, whose father died of cancer. “The medal will stay with the person who deserved it.”

Usmanov is listed by Forbes as Russia’s richest man, and #61 on its list of The World’s Most Powerful People, with a reported net worth of $15.8 billion. In addition to being an early investor in Facebook, his wealth includes holdings in the British soccer team Arsenal, an iron ore-steel company, Russia’s second-largest mobile phone company, and that nation’s largest business daily newspaper.

A spokesman for Dr. Watson, David Kass, told The New York Times that Usmanov contacted the Nobel laureate proposing to give him cash for charity in return for calling off the auction. Dr. Watson declined: “Obviously he’s overjoyed to be getting it back. He’s humbled by it,” Kass said.

Usmanov is the formerly anonymous bidder who placed the winning $4.1 million bid—$4.76 million after adding the buyer’s premium, directed to Christie’s—exceeding projections by the auction house that Dr. Watson’s medal would sell for between the $2.5 million reserve price and $3.5 million.

Dr. Watson had said he will use the proceeds from the auction for purchasing artwork; supplementing his income; and making donations to institutions where he has studied and worked.

Those institutions include Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, where Dr. Watson is chancellor emeritus. He retired in 2007 following publication in the Sunday Times of London of comments in which he connected intelligence to race.

In moving to sell his medal, Dr. Watson told the Financial Times last month he hoped the resulting publicity would allow him to “re-enter public life” after years as an “un-person” following loss of income and ostracism over his remarks.

Dr. Watson joined Francis Crick, Ph.D. (1916-2014) and Maurice Wilkins, Ph.D., in sharing the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their 1953 discovery of the double-helix structure of deoxyribonucleic acid.

Previous articleRoche Diagnostics Buys Tissue-Dissection Technology from AvanSci Bio
Next articleCells Turned to Stone, for Science