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Edvard Munch painting fetches £42m at auction

A painting by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch has fetched more than 54 million dollars (£42.8 million) at Sotheby's auction of impressionist and modern art in New York.

Girls on the Bridge, a seminal work from 1902, depicts a cluster of girls huddled on a bridge in a country village. It sold in 1996 for 7.7 million dollars and again in 2008 for 30.8 million dollars, each time setting a record for the artist.

In 2012, Munch's work The Scream, one of the most iconic images in art history, sold for 119.9 million dollars at Sotheby's. It became the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, a record that has been broken four times since.

Pablo Picasso's Women of Algiers (Version O) now holds that distinction. It sold last year for 179.4 million dollars (£142 million).

Other works at Monday's auction included a large-scale painting by Picasso, The Painter and His Model, from 1963. The 5ft wide painting has descended through the same family since it was acquired in 1968. It garnered 12.9 million dollars (£10.4 million), just edging its low presale estimate of 12 million dollars (£9.5 million).

A 1951 bronze bust by Picasso of his lover and muse Francoise Gilot, Head of a Woman, fetched 8.4 million dollars (£6.6 million).

An early cubist composition by Mexican artist Diego Rivera, Untitled (Cubist Composition), from 1916 sold for just over 900,000 dollars (£714,000).

The sale also had two abstract works by Laszlo Maholy-Nagy that recently appeared in a retrospective of his work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

The 1923 work, EM 1 Telephonbild, sold for six million dollars (£4.7 million), topping its high presale estimate of four million dollars (£3.17 million).

AP

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