NEW YORK (AFP).- A handwritten letter by Albert Einstein in which the physicist doubts the existence of God was auctioned Tuesday for $2.89 million.
It was a record for an Einstein letter and far surpassed its estimated value of $1.0-1.5 million, Christie's said.
A 1939 letter in which Einstein warned then president Franklin D. Roosevelt about Germany's atom bomb preparations was auctioned for $2.1 million in 2002.
In the letter sold on Tuesday, dated 1954 and written in German to philosopher Eric Gutkind, Einstein said he did not believe in God.
"The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses," Einstein wrote.
"The Bible, a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends."
The letter was last sold in 2008 to a private collector for $404,000, Christie's said.
Sven Becker, Head of Books & Manuscripts: Collectors worldwide competed very strongly, in the room, over the phone and online, for this finely curated auction which comprised masterpieces and fresh-to market property across a wide range of subjects: from Copernicus to Harry Potter by way of Darwin, Washington and countless other signposts of written culture. The New York Books Department is thrilled to close this year with such a strong auction, as market leaders for fine books and manuscripts.