NEW YORK: A handwritten letter by Albert Einstein in which he grapples with the concept of religion has sold for nearly $2.9 million smashing predictions.
Written in 1954, the so-called “God letter” was expected to fetch $1.5 million at Christie’s Rockefeller Center auction in New York.
The Nobel Prize-winning scientist, then 74, wrote the one-and-a-half page note to German philosopher Eric Gutkind in response to one of his works.
It is seen as a key statement in the debate between science and religion.
“This remarkably candid, private letter was written a year before Einstein’s death and remains the most fully articulated expression of his religious and philosophical views,” a statement from Christie”s says.
It fetched almost double the auction house”s predicted price of up to 1.5 million.
In the letter, written in his native German, Einstein takes issue with the belief in God.
“The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses,” he writes. “The Bible a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends.”