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Sotheby's screams $80 million for Edvard Munch

Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 01:59

April 30 - Edvard Munch's ''The Scream'' expected to fetch about $80 million at auction. Kilmeny Duchardt reports.

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Bidders aren't expected to be silent when Edvard Munch's "The Scream" goes under the gavel. Sotheby's in New York is expecting that the iconic painting will fetch up to $80 million U.S. dollars. According to David Norman, the co-chairman of the impressionist and modern art department, it's the highest pre-sale value the auctioneer has ever placed on a work of art. (SOUNDBITE) David Norman, Sotheby's worldwide co-chairman of Impressionist and Modern art, saying (English): "It is a universal image of anxiety, suffering, the response to the modern age throughout the 20th century. Events have occurred that have shown Munch in 1895 really presaged, you know, all the turmoil and violence that would come. People just respond so viscerally and personally to this. The world sometimes is too enormous, too challenging at times." The 1895 work has been in hands of a Norwegian businessman, whose father had close ties to the artist. Four versions of the famous painting exist - three belonging to Norwegian museums. Many say it's one of the most instantly recognizable images in art and popular culture, after Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa". (SOUNDBITE) David Norman, Sotheby's worldwide co-chairman of Impressionist and Modern art, saying (English): "It is also the only piece that is in the artist's original frame. There's a plaque at the bottom which in his own handwriting describes the moment when he conceived this piece. He was walking across the bridge, you see his friends ahead of him, he felt dead tired and he couldn't move further. The sky was blazing red and orange in the sunset and then he says, 'I heard the great shriek of nature.' Everyone believes the figure is screaming, but really what's happening is the figure is reacting, recoiling from the noise of the world." "The Scream" will be sold to the highest bidder at Sotheby's New York on May 2. Kilmeny Duchardt, Reuters.

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Sotheby's screams $80 million for Edvard Munch

Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 01:59