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Finance

House prices rise 1.9% - Halifax

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The Press Association-House prices have recorded their strongest quarterly rise in three years in a further sign that efforts...
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Starbucks tax offer 'too little, too late' for Britain

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AFP-Despite pledging to pay millions of pounds in extra tax in Britain, Starbucks faces a battle to restore its reputation...
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UBS 'manipulated Swiss franc rates since 2001'

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AFP-Swiss banking giant UBS, which last week was slapped with $1.5 billion in fines for manipulating global interest rates,...
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No clean bill of health for MoD

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Auditors have refused to give the Ministry of Defence's accounts a clean bill of health for the sixth year running. The Press...
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Britain storms out of recession but cautious on outlook

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  AFP- Britain powered out of its longest double-dip recession since the 1950s after its economy returned to growth in the...
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Virgin Media gets Olympics lift

Virgin Media gets Olympics lift
  The Press Association- Olympic champions Mo Farah and Usain Bolt helped Virgin Media deliver its biggest quarterly increase...
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Bank of England divided over QE

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  The Press Association-Bank of England policymakers are divided over the benefits of pumping more emergency cash into the economy...
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Germany's Schaeuble confident of go-ahead for eurozone pacts

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  AFP- Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Monday he was confident the country's top court will not block the...
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Adnams gets boost from new beers

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  The Press Association- Brewer Adnams has toasted higher profits after a range of new beers helped it cope with "the most...
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HSBC hid $16 bn in Iran transactions: US Senate report

HSBC hid $16 bn in Iran transactions: US Senate report
  AFP-Global banking giant HSBC and its US affiliate concealed more than $16 billion in sensitive transactions to Iran, violating...
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German finance minister calls for stronger EU

German finance minister calls for stronger EU
  AFP-German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called for EU member states to hand more powers to the European Union in "major...
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Services sector growth welcomed

Services sector growth welcomed
  The Press Association-A run of dire economic data that has spooked the UK's recovery hopes has been halted with a decent performance...
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Payday lender Wonga plans flotation

Payday lender Wonga plans flotation
  The Press Association- Payday lender Wonga is reported to be considering a US stock market flotation that could value the business...
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UK recession deepens as official GDP shrinks

UK recession deepens as official GDP shrinks
AFP-Britain's recession is worse than previously thought, as revised official figures showed on Thursday that the economy shrank...
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Marks & Spencer profits plunge 19%, slashes target

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  AFP-British clothing-to-food retailer Marks & Spencer on Tuesday announced a drop in annual profits in a "challenging economic...
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Travel

'Dither and delay' warning on HS2

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The Press Associtaion-High speed rail between London and Birmingham might not be achieved in the 2020s because of...
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Wife's plea over man's Greek arrest

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The Press Association-An MP has voiced his concerns about the plight of a British national who was imprisoned while...
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Louvre ditches audio guides for Nintendo consoles

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AP - The Louvre Museum is used to dealing with antiquities: Nearly all of its thousands of works of art date to 1848...
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French Concordia survivors get €2m payout

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AFP- The owner of the Costa Concordia cruise liner that ran aground off northwest Italy in January has paid more...
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Chicago hotel prices jump as summer begins

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(Relaxnews) - Hotel prices in the Windy City soared by 23 percent this month, according to new research by Trivago. Chicago...
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Sport

Vettel’s new partner? Raikkonen or Ricciardo

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The decision to Sebastian Vettel’s new partner probably falls between Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner...
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Mercedes plans new assault on Vettel: Infrared trick and louvers

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  Three long years of Silver Arrow lurched past the targets. There was nothing: a measly victory in 58 races. This year it runs better already clear:...
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Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season

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AFP-Barcelona suffered their first La Liga defeat of the season on Saturday when they slumped to a shock 3-2 loss at Real Sociedad. Barcelona...
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Wiggins may target Tour defence after all

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AFP-Bradley Wiggins says he is likely to defend his Tour de France title after all next year despite previously nominating the Giro d'Italia as...
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Messi in light training after injury scare

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AFP-Barcelona star Lionel Messi took part in light training on Thursday after being stretchered off with a knee injury during the 0-0 draw at home...
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Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope

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AFP- Freshly appointed as Chelsea's latest interim coach, Rafael Benitez could be forgiven for wondering whether he has accepted a poisoned chalice. The...
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McIlroy makes late charge at Singapore Open

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  AFP-World number one Rory McIlroy made a late charge up the leaderboard but still trailed Denmark's Thomas Bjorn by five shots after a marathon day...
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Tower of Polish power knocks down Murray in Paris

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  AFP- Towering Polish qualifier Jerzy Janowicz upset Andy Murray 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 on Thursday to complete the early exit of the elite from...
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Chelsea rage at referee's 'inappropriate language'

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  AFP- Chelsea have filed a complaint over "inappropriate language" allegedly used by referee Mark Clattenburg towards their players during their...
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Suspended Olympic badminton players appeal

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  AFP-Four South Korean badminton players who were suspended for trying to throw matches at the London Olympics have appealed their penalties, the...
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Culture

Munch's ‘The Scream’ sells for $120mn at auction PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 10:50


Reuters - Edvard Munch’s masterpiece “The Scream,” one of the world’s most recognizable works of art, sold for $120 million at Sotheby’s on Wednesday, setting a new record as the most expensive piece of art ever sold at auction.

Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern art auction featured top works by Picasso, Dali and Miro, but Munch’s vibrant work from 1895 was the star attraction in a salesroom packed with art collectors, dealers and media.

The vibrant pastel was conservatively estimated to sell for about $80 million, but two determined bidders competing via telephone emerged from an initial group of seven, driving the final price to $107 million, or $119,922,500 including commission, over the course of a nearly 15-minute bidding war.

The winning bid was taken by a Sotheby’s executive, and the bidder was not identified.

One of four versions by the Scandinavian painter, sold by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, “The Scream” easily eclipsed the old auction record held by Picasso’s “Nude, green leaves and bust,” which sold for $106.5 million at Christie’s two years ago.

The sales room at Sotheby’s erupted in applause and cheering when the hammer came down. Several Sotheby’s officials said the sale marked the high point of their careers.

“It’s worth every penny that the collector paid,” said Tobias Meyer, who served as auctioneer and called it “one of the great icons” of fine art.

In recent decades “The Scream,” which depicts a figure with hands pressed to head against a backdrop of swirling colors, has become a ubiquitous image, appropriated for everything from coffee mugs to editorial cartoons.

For many mainstream art lovers, it is perhaps second in familiarity only to the “Mona Lisa,” and is among the best-known works of art still in private hands.

Sotheby’s New York head of Impressionist and Modern art Simon Shaw called it “one of the visual keys to modern consciousness,” adding that it was “perhaps the greatest single draw I’ve seen in my career” at the auction house.

80 percent of lots find buyers


Three other images of “The Scream,” including two which were stolen and later recovered, are in museums in Norway.

Overall, the sale brought in $330.6 million, against an estimate of about $245 million to $325 million, and 80 percent of the 76 lots on offer found buyers.

The total was Sotheby’s highest-ever for an Impressionist and Modern auction, beating the old mark of $286 million, which had stood since 1990. It was also the auction house’s second-best evening in its history.

Other highlights included Picasso’s “Femme assise dans un fauteuil,” which sold for $29.2 million; Miro’s “Tete humaine” went for $14.86 million; and Dali’s “Printemps necrophilique,” which fetched $16.3 million, or about 50 percent more than the pre-sale estimate (photo - Solis Invicti).

Works by Max Ernst, Tamara de Lempicka, Constantin Brancusi and Paul Gauguin all achieved strong prices, many far exceeding their high estimates.

The collection of financier Ted Forstmann took in $83 million, meeting expectations, although works by Chaim Soutine that were considered highlights failed to make their estimates.

But in the end it was all about the Munch. Olsen, who attended the sale, said afterward he hoped the stunning results would help drive interest in Munch’s work, and added that the artist “will be a continuing force in my life.”

Speaking to its enduring topical nature and present-day relevance, Olsen said “The image of ‘The Scream’ could make more of us fathom the magnitude of the consequences of our continuing emissions of greenhouse gases.”

“For me, (it) shows the horrifying moment when man realizes his impact on nature and the irreversible changes that he has initiated, making the planet increasingly uninhabitable.”

Several other works by Munch in the sale failed to achieve a coattail effect, selling for less than their low estimates and in one case, not at all.

The art auctions continue next week when both Sotheby’s and Christie’s hold their sales of Post-war and Contemporary art.

 
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