This week Edvard Munch’s iconic work The Scream broke records as the most expensive piece of art sold at auction, with an eye-watering hammer price of $119 million.
It surpassed the previous record, held by Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust, which sold at Christie’s New York in May 2010 for $106 million.
The buyer remains anonymous but industry sources, perhaps unsurprisingly, point to the emerging markets. After prolonged bidding at Sotheby's New York auction house this week, initially between eight individuals and finally between two “highly determined” telephone bidders battling for over 12 minutes, a victor emerged.
The Emir of Qatar and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich have both been highlighted as likely buyers. Before the sale Sothebys even nodded to the fact that buyers from emerging markets would be interested in the work.