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'The Scream' fetches record $119.9M at NYC auction

Associated Press Modified: May 3, 2012 at 2:00 am •  Published: May 3, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the most iconic images in art history — Edvard Munch's "The Scream" — has become the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.

The 1895 piece — a modern symbol of human anxiety — was sold at Sotheby's in New York City on Wednesday for a record $119.9 million. The price includes the buyer's premium.

The image of a man holding his head and screaming under a streaked, blood-red sky is one of four versions by the Norwegian expressionist painter. The piece auctioned at Sotheby's is the only one left in private hands. The buyer's name was not disclosed.

The previous record for an artwork sold at auction was $106.5 million for Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust," sold by Christie's in 2010.