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Phuket Gazette: Munch’s “Scream” for sale

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Phuket Gazette: Munch’s “Scream” for sale | The Thaiger
PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Munch’s ‘The Scream’ to go on sale at New York art auction

PHUKET (News Wires): A Norwegian businessman will sell the Edvard Munch masterpiece “The Scream” during an art auction in New York City in May, auction house Sotheby’s announced yesterday. The price is expected to exceed US$80 million.

The 1895 painting, owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, will lead the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale at Sotheby’s in New York City on May 2. It is one of four known versions of the iconic composition but the only version still in private hands, as the other versions are owned by Norwegian museums.

The work, which shows an agonized figure who is holding his head and screaming under a blood-red sky, is one of the most instantly recognizable images in both art history and popular culture. “Munch’s The Scream is the defining image of modernity, and it is an immense privilege for Sotheby’s to be entrusted with one of the most important works of art in private hands,” said Simon Shaw, the head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department in New York.

Olsen, whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbor and patron of Munch, said the proceeds from the sale will go toward the establishment of a new museum, art center and hotel on his farm in the Norwegian village of Hvitsten. “It will open next year in connection with the Munch 150th [birth] anniversary, and will be dedicated to the artist’s work and time there,” he said. “We are restoring his house and studio, and guests can stay in his home.”

Shaw said The Scream is one of very few images which transcends art history and reaches a global consciousness. “The Scream arguably embodies even greater power today than when it was conceived,” he said. “At a time of great critical interest in the artist, and with the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2013, this spring is a particularly compelling time for The Scream to appear on the market. For collectors and institutions, the opportunity to acquire such a singularly-influential masterpiece is unprecedented in recent times.”

The auction house said it is difficult to predict how much the painting will be sold for, but expects at least more than $80 million. “Given how rarely true icons come to the market it is difficult to predict The Scream’s value,” Shaw said. “The recent success of masterpieces at Sotheby’s suggests that the price could exceed $80 million.”

Sotheby’s said the pastel-on-board version of “The Scream” is distinguished in several ways. The auction house said it is the most colorful and vibrant of the four and the only version whose original frame was hand-painted by the artist to include his poem detailing the work’s inspiration. It is also the only version in which one of the two figures in the background turns to look outward onto the cityscape.

“I have lived with this work all my life, and its power and energy have only increased with time,” Olsen said. “Now, however, I feel the moment has come to offer the rest of the world a chance to own and appreciate this remarkable work, which is the only version of The Scream not in the collection of a Norwegian museum. My father Thomas Olsen was a friend of Munch, and acquired The Scream as well as many other works by the artist.”

Before being auctioned in New York on May 2, the painting will be on view at Sotheby’s in London on April 13 and then in New York on April 27. This version has never before been on public view in either the United Kingdom or the United States, except briefly at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

— Phuket Gazette Editors



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Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet

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Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Japan Times

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ new 88-passenger Mitsubishi Regional Jet is testing the skies just as rivals Embraer and Bombardier are moving to sell off their manufacturing operations for jets with up to 160 seats to Boeing and Airbus.

At stake, particularly in the market for jets with fewer seats, is US$135 billion in sales in the two decades through 2037, according to industry group Japan Aircraft Development.

More cities in Asia and Europe are seeking to link up with each other and the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the first airliner built in Japan since the 1960s, began certification flights last month in Moses Lake, Washington.

With fewer seats and smaller fuselages, regional jets are a different class of aircraft from larger narrow-body planes such as Boeing’s 737 or Airbus’s A320. The MRJ has a range of about 3,220 kilometres. The seating is 2+2 instead of 3+3 in a small Airbus or Boeing single-aisle jet.

After spending at least US$2 billion over more than a decade, the manufacturer is looking to get its jet certified and start deliveries to launch partner ANA Holdings.

Mitsubishi initially planned test flights in 2012 but blew past that deadline because of production difficulties. Now, the company, which makes ships, nuclear power plants and aerospace components, expects to have the plane ready for customers next year, a timetable that will test the company, said Mitsubishi Aircraft president Hisakazu Mizutani.

Mitsubishi Heavy is not the only Asian manufacturer betting that it can build aircraft cheaper and more efficiently. Commercial Aircraft of China (Comac) has a new regional jet in service, while Korea Aerospace Industries is studying whether to develop a 100-passenger aircraft.

“The aviation market in Asia is expected to grow further in the coming years and there will be demand for these aircraft,” said analyst Lee Dong-heon at Daishin Securities in Seoul.

“The shift in the regional aviation segment we have seen over the last year or so has opened opportunities.”

“The MRJ is fully capable of competing in the market.”

Mitsubishi testing their new regional jet | News by The Thaiger

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Missing 14 year old Thai boy found dead in Tokyo

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Missing 14 year old Thai boy found dead in Tokyo | The Thaiger

The mother of a Thai teenager who went missing in Tokyo last Monday has revealed that she has found her son but that he had died.

Yuwajitra Watchara-arpa has not revealed the cause of the death of 14 year old Thian Sukanonsawat on the social network, saying merely that he had passed peacefully from an “unexpected accident”.

The mother thanked everybody for helping to find her son. She however asked for privacy following his death, saying the family would not answer any queries or contacts.

Thian went missing on Monday night, not longer after he and his family arrived in Tokyo for a holiday. His parents stayed in one room and their three children, Tien among them, shared another room.

After her mother found out that her son had gone missing, she alerted police and asked to see the hotel’s security video footage. CCTV footage showed the boy leaving the hotel room on the fifth floor in the middle of the night and walking towards an elevator in his night clothes and hotel slippers.

His mother turned to Facebook to seek help in locating her son. She said the boy had no money, mobile phone or transportation pass cards.

Her post went viral and was shared by many Facebook users including the Thai Embassy in Tokyo and the Thai communities in Japan.

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Boeing investigation continues as attention turns to the engines

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Boeing investigation continues as attention turns to the engines | The Thaiger

Within the past six months, two Boeing 737 Max 8 have fallen out of the sky, both during the early climbing phase of the flight.

In October, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed just off Jakarta, killing 189 people. And in March, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in Bishoftu, Ethiopia, killing 157 people.

Whilst the investigations continue into the two horrifying incidents, both Boeing and some early evidence from the data recorders, has revealed possible problems with software that was developed as a work-around to a problem that Boeing had introduced with the new model 737 aircraft.

The work-around was called the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) which would push the nose of the plane down if the software detected the plane had the risk of stalling (nose too high, not enough airflow over the wings). But why did the new Boeing 737 Max model jets need this new software?

The answer uncovers a rush to manufacture as Boeing was under pressure to come up with a new plane to compete with their rivals Airbus. The European manufacturer had developed a newer, lighter, more fuel efficient update to their single-aisle A320. And airlines were buying it instead of the latest Boeing 737.

Boeing, instead of designing a new plane, would do a make-over of the older model. But they needed to get it out to the market quickly. This rush to market market may have contributed to the two recent crash incidents.

VOX has prepared an excellent short documentary on the issue that may be at the root of the deaths of 346 people.

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