18:32 GMT04 August 2020
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    "The Scream" is an iconic painting created by Norwegian expressionist Edvard Munch, depicting a desperate human appearing to howl in pain, and is considered to be one of the most profound artistic symbols of anguish and anxiety in art. Munch painted four versions of the famous painting, two in paint and two in pastel.

    Millhouse, a company in charge of managing the assets owned by Roman Abramovich, has dismissed reports that the Russian billionaire has purchased Edvard Munch's "The Scream".

    Russian media reported Sunday, citing Telegram channel Sotheby's life, that Mr Abramovich had acquired the painting for an estimated $120 million.

    The reports claimed that "The Scream" was the only one of the four pieces in the series in a private collection.

    The bidding started at $50 million, according to reports, cutting the number of participants from seven to one in fifteen minutes. The auction reportedly took place on 2 May in New York. Abramovich was reported to have participated anonymously via telephone.

    One of the most iconic paintings in the world, The Scream series, created from 1893 to 1910, depicts a man on a bridge against a red background desperately screaming at the viewer. 

    The reported deal has made the painting's purchase one of the most expensive in history, and Sotheby's plans to invest the money in building a new museum, hotel, and art centre in Norway.

    The previous record for the most expensive work of art sold is $450.3 million for "Salvator Mundi" by Leonardo da Vinci (c. 1500), which was sold by Russian Dmitry Rybolovlev to Saudi royal family member Badr bin Abdullah Al Saud on 15 November 2017, through Christie's of New York.

    Roman Abramovich is ranked seventh in a list of the wealthiest Russians. 

    *CORRECTION: The text of this article has been amended slightly to reflect the fact that Mr Abramovich did not purchase the painting, as clarified by the press service of Millhouse, a company that is managing the assets owned by the businessman.


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    The Scream, Edvard Munch, art, Russia
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