Want a free trip to Norway? Just scream

Want a free trip to Norway? Just scream

In honor of Edvard Munch's 150th birthday, Visit Norway is asking travelers to slap on their best look of agony and let it rip for the cameras
In May 2012, the 1895 version of Edvard Munch’s "The Scream" sold for US$119.9 million -- the world’s most expensive work of art ever to sell at auction.

If you were to ask a Norwegian to list his or her nation's top three most famous exports, chances are they'd toss out at least one of these greats: 1980s pop band A-Ha; the cheese slicer; painter Edvard Munch. 

In honor of the 150th birthday anniversary of the latter, Visit Norway is asking people to create their own version of Munch's most famous work, "The Scream," in video form.  

To take part, submit a clip of yourself screaming on visitnorway.com -- the source of your agony is up to you. It will be edited into what Visit Norway hopes will be the world's longest virtual scream.

What do you get out of it? The chance to win a free trip to Norway or cash prizes of up to US$5,000. 

To check out the contest promo video, entries and winners-to-date, head to the Visit Norway YouTube pageWe recommend having a bottle of painkillers at the ready.

Some clips are funny, others predictable. Almost all of them are agonizing to sit through. Which is probably how Munch would have wanted it, given the story behind "The Scream" isn't typical tourism campaign fodder. 

According to the book "Behind the Scream," by Sue Prideaux, the artist reportedly wrote of his inspiration: "I went along the road with two friends. The sun set, suddenly the sky became blood -- and I felt the breath of sadness. I stopped -- leaned against the fence -- deathly tired. Clouds over the fjord dripped reeking with blood. My friends went on but I just stood trembling with an open wound in my breast. I heard a huge extraordinary scream pass through nature." 

Uplifting stuff. 

Where to see 'The Scream' 

If you'd rather just skip all that yelling and check out the original painting in person, there are four versions of "The Scream," which Munch painted between 1893 and 1910.

His 1895 pastel-on-cardboard version was the third of the four. Last year, it became the most expensive work ever to be sold at auction, with the hammer going down at nearly $120 million.

The owner -- whose name was not publicly released but everyone seems to know it -- loaned it to New York's Museum of Modern Art, where it's now on display until the end of April

The other three versions can found in Norway -- two in Oslo's Munch Museum, one at the National Gallery of Norway.

In honor of Munch's birthday anniversary, both museums are putting together retrospectives of his work, which will be on display from June until October.