It took 12 minutes for Edvard Munch’s The Scream to become the most expensive painting ever sold at auction.
After a brief bidding war, the world’s second most famous painting – after the Mona Lisa – sold for $120 million at Sotheby’s in New York, far exceeding pre-sales estimates of about $80 million.
They continue to persist after an unnamed bidder, bought The Scream for $119,922,500, including commission.
The NYT reports:
Bidders could be heard speaking Chinese and English (and, some said, Norwegian), but the mystery winner bid over the phone, through Charles Moffett, Sotheby’s executive vice president and vice chairman of its worldwide Impressionist, modern and contemporary art department…
As soon as the hammer fell, rumors began circulating about who the buyer could be. Among the names floated were the financier Leonard Blavatnik, the Microsoft tycoon Paul Allen and members of the Qatari royal family.
On Twitter, news of the sale and speculation over its owner has caused the Scream to become a trending topic:
Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” sets record for highest price in a public sale.Sold for $120 million to…? Chump change for Qatar perhaps?
— Cheepy Deefy (@chapeaudefee) May 3, 2012
— Stuart Macaulay (@StuartMac992) May 3, 2012
— Jennie Nijsse (@jenniefir) May 3, 2012
Anyone know more?