Much Ado about Munch: Art Thieves Target Icons

In August 2004, the original version of Munch’s iconic The Scream and a version of Madonna were stolen from Oslo’s Munch Museum. Two men, armed with handguns, threatened museum staff and demanded the two paintings. After over a year the paintings have still not been recovered. The museum closed and did not reopen until July 2005. Because the paintings were irreplaceable, they hadn’t even been insured.

Another version of The Scream had been stolen in 1994. It was recovered three months later after the thieves attempted to extort a $1 million ransom.

In August of 2005, thieves even stole photographs of Munch paintings from Oslo’s Hotel Continental. The original paintings had been put into storage because of the 2004 robbery.

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About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.