Edvard Munch's masterpiece The Scream goes up for auction May 2 at Sotheby’s in New York, with an expected selling price of more than $80 million U.S.

It’s one of four copies of the famed image created by the Norwegian artist and the only one still in private hands.

Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend and patron of Munch, is selling the canvas to fund a museum to be built in Hvitsten, Norway and slated to house the rest of his father’s collection . 

His father, Thomas Fredrik Olsen, bought the painting directly from Munch, who was a neighbour.

The Scream, which the artist painted in 1895, has an enduring hold on the public imagination. Versions have been stolen twice from museums and the iconic figure has been reproduced on countless items, including T-shirts, mugs, coasters and prints.

CBC’s David Common reports on the upcoming auction and the significance of selling such an iconic artwork.