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Stephen Hawking's wheelchair, medals up for auction

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October 22, 2018 18:33


British physicist Stephen Hawking's motorised wheelchair, medals and awards, and a signed copy of his PhD thesis are among a range of items set to go under the hammer in the United Kingdom.

The motorised BEC Mobility wheelchair, used by the late cosmologist from the late-1980s to the mid-1990s, is alone expected to fetch 15,000 pounds.

Hawking relied upon a series of wheelchairs from the end of the 1960s until his death in March this year, according to the Christie's auction house in the UK.

The wheelchair being auctioned was used by Stephen Hawking from the end of the 1980s until the early years of the 1990s, before he became unable to use his hands to drive a wheelchair.

According to a statement by the Christie's, Hawking's 'mischievous attitude' to piloting his wheelchair became legendary, both in Cambridge and further afield.

Having run over Prince Charles's toes during a meeting in 1977, he is said to have regretted not doing the same to the then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

It was said that those who annoyed him found themselves a target, an allegation to which he responded with characteristic wit and humour: 'A malicious rumour. I'll run over anyone who repeats it'.

The proceeds from the auction of the chair will benefit the The Stephen Hawking Foundation, which advocates for the rights of people with disabilities, and The Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The auction that will be live between October 31 to November 8, also features a signed photocopy of Hawking's PhD thesis.

It is expected to fetch 1,50,000 pounds at the online auction. A collection of Hawking's medals and awards has also been offered for sale.

These include his Eddington Medal, The Institute of Physics James Clerk Maxwell Medal and The Albert Einstein Award for achievement in the natural sciences, among others.  -- PTI

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