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Edvard Munch’s The Scream could exceed $80 million.

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Sotheby’s today presented Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream will lead its Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on 2 May 2012. The iconic work is one of the most instantly recognizable images in both art history and popular culture, perhaps second only to the Mona Lisa.

The present version of The Scream, which dates from 1895, is one of four versions of the composition and the only version still in private hands. It will be on view in London for the first time ever, with the exhibition at Sotheby’s opening on 13 April. In New York, and also for the first time ever, it will be on exhibition at Sotheby’s in advance of the sale beginning 27 April. The work is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbor and patron of Munch.

Simon Shaw, Senior Vice President and Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department in New York said that: Given how rarely true icons come to the market it is difficult to predict The Scream’s value. The recent success of masterpieces at Sotheby’s suggests that the price could exceed $80 million.” More info over at ArtDaily.com

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