Posted: 8/22/2004 11:25:38 AM EDT
This crew is good. This is a major score.
Sunday, Aug. 22, 2004
Munch's Famous 'Scream,' 'Madonna' Stolen
OSLO, Norway (AP) - Armed men stormed into an art museum Sunday,
threatened staff at gunpoint and stole Edvard Munch's famous
paintings ``The Scream'' and ``Madonna'' before the eyes of stunned
The thieves yanked the paintings off the walls of Oslo's Munch
museum and loaded them into a waiting car outside, said a witness,
French radio producer Francois Castang.
Police spokeswoman Hilde Walsoe said the two or three armed men
threatened a museum employee with a handgun to give them the two
paintings, including ``The Scream'' - Munch's famed depiction of an
anguished figure with its head in its hands.
``No one has been physically injured, and the suspects escaped
in an Audi A6. We are searching for the suspects with all available
means,'' Walsoe told The Associated Press.
Many museum visitors panicked and thought they were being
attacked by terrorists.
``He was wearing a black face mask and something that looked
like a gun to force a female security guard down on the floor,''
visitor Marketa Cajova told NTB public radio.
``What's strange is that in this museum, there weren't any means
of protection for the paintings, no alarm bell,'' Castang told
France Inter radio.
``The paintings were simply attached by wire to the walls,'' he
said. ``All you had to do is pull on the painting hard for the cord
to break loose - which is what I saw one of the thieves doing.''
Castang said police arrived on the scene 15 minutes later.
Visitors were ushered into the museum's cafeteria.
``We don't have all the details on the situation, but we are
searching for the suspects in the air and on land,'' Police
Spokesman Kjell Moerk told the public radio network NRK.
It was the second time in 10 years that ``The Scream'' has been
stolen. In February 1994, the work was taken and remained missing
for nearly three months. Police ultimately recovered the work,
which is on fragile paper, undamaged in a hotel in Asgardstrand,
about 40 miles south of the capital, Oslo. Three Norwegians were
At the time, investigators said the trio tried to ransom the
painting, demanding $1 million from the government. it was never
Munch, a Norwegian painter and graphic artist who worked in
Germany as well as his home country, developed an emotionally
charged style that was of great importance in the birth of the 20th
century Expressionist movement.
He painted ``The Scream'' in 1893, as part of his ``Frieze of
Life'' series, in which sickness, death, anxiety, and love are
central themes. He died in 1944 at the age of 81.
The National Art Museum owns 58 paintings by Munch.
So, you think someone hired this crew to boost it, or are they more of a freelance operation and intend on selling it.
Just how in the Sam Hell would you market this thing anyways?
Just like stolen archeological stuff. It's for very rich black market oriented folks who want to have it. They just can't display it, but it's an ego think. "I have it, nobody else does."
$5 says they eventually get caught. It's a very widely known artwork. Somebody will notice it.
Either way, this is a major score.
Some wealthy collectors hire thieves to steal important works for their private collections. Other thieves with no connections in those circles of collectors with more money than scruples, like these guys, ransom paintings.
Could it be that Chris Shiherlis, after nine years of laying low following the bank robbery gone wrong in L.A., got a new crew together??
I know a low life in Vegas who's doing his wife. He's got a warrant out for him in Jersey for cigarette smuggling, we can put the squeeze on him, get to his wife, see what she knows.
HOWARD DEAN TOOK IT!
I remember doing a paper in College about the theft of art and the romanticism of it. It was an Art History class paper and I was in art college. Art theft is the stuff of movies and mystery novels. It's not so much about the value of the art that is often stolen but the "intellectual" value. Many pieces that have been stolen wind up in someones private collection more than they wind up on a black market for monetary value. Its easier to steal money if you want money than to steal something that is only valuable to a certain group, i.e. artists, snobs, etc. and then try to gain some money from it. Its a paradox of sorts for those who want to steal artwork and then sell it for money because the more popular the artwork the higher the price it will garner, but its also more recognized giving those who stole it more attention then they really need. I believe the statistics I quoted in my paper were something like 85% of all stolen art are for its personal enjoyment versus its monetary value, and that when those who steal it for monetary value do so, the odds of getting it back are greater. So if something has been missing for quite a long time, chances are its hanging in some dudes house over his office desk or bed or in a private studio. The fact that a "crew" took down this artwork would lead me to believe that it has been stolen for monetary value since they all cant share the art and more than once piece was taken. But its still possible that someone hired a team for this job and paid them good money to do it.
When I was in college someone had thier art stolen near the end of the semester. It had been on display and wound up missing one day. Since this happened inside an "art" college it was quite a controversial subject because most artist have a strong ethic about this sort of thing. At least in terms of respecting fellow artists work. But still, a small part of me couldnt help but wonder if it feeds your ego to know your stuff is good enough to steal.
He could afford it - duffel bags of cash will fund quite the heist. Wonder who requested the piece? it was one of my favorites.
You would think that after the last time they would have gotten better security.
Wow. I actually know this painting.
I'm not much into Munch's style of painting but I knew which one it was..
Audi A6....isn't that the car they used in Ronin?
Nope. Audi S8.
I will NEVER understand the acquisition of paint on a piece of paper/canvas that is valued at more than a few bucks. I wouldn't pay $20 for that thing. It looks like something my kids painted.
wow! sounds like something out of a movie!
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