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'The Scream' pastel sells for $120M

May 2, 2012 at 10:43 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, May 2 (UPI) -- An anonymous buyer paid nearly $120 million for a pastel version of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" Wednesday at a New York auction, Sotheby's said.

The masterpiece was one of four similar works -- two pastels and two paintings -- Munch created between 1893 and 1910. The other three are in Norwegian museums.

CNN said the pre-sale estimate for the pastel was at least $80 million -- the highest ever listed at Sotheby's. It sold for $119,922,500, which includes the premium paid to the auction house, making it the most expensive artwork ever sold at an auction.

Pablo Picasso's painting "Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust," which sold for $106.5 million two years ago, was the previous record holder for a work sold at Sotheby's, CNN said.

"'The Scream' has really entered the collective conscience, whatever nationality, whatever country, whatever attitude or age, it really sort of speaks to that sort of existential terror that everyone experiences in the world," Sotheby's spokesman David Norman told the news network.

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