Edvard Munch’s Scream

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Edvard Munch’s Scream


Category: Culture / Lifestyle

On May 2nd Sotheby’s sold the 1895 “Scream” in New York for the highest price realized by any work of art at auction: $120m. It was the culmination of a long, careful and expensive sales campaign. Sotheby’s is not disclosing even a ballpark figure for their marketing budget, but it included a specially commissioned hardback book, two promotional videos and flying the artwork round the world so that a handful of serious buyers could view it in the comfort of their own homes. The rumour mill had it that beneficiaries of these flying visits included the Qatari royal family, Ron Lauder, the cosmetics king, Philip Niarchos and Roman Abramovich. During the five days it was displayed in London it drew 7,500 viewers, who endured airport-style security and long, slow queues to be let in to see it 20 at a time. “The Scream” has the distinction of being the most-stolen artwork and bookmakers were giving 20 to 1 odds on it happening again. Sotheby’s were taking no chances.

Source: The Economist

Published: April 5, 2012