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Rabu, 12 Februari 2020

12-2-1994: Edvard Munch's Famous Painting 'The Scream' was Stolen at the Museum

On this day, exactly 26 years ago, the painting "The Scream" by Edvard Munch, which is one of the most famous paintings in the world, was stolen from an art museum in Oslo, Norway.

The painting was in the gallery when the highlight of the Norwegian Cultural Festival was held in connection with the Winter Olympics which began in Lillehammer in 1994.

The two men only needed 50 seconds to climb the stairs, barge in through the window of the National Art Museum in Oslo and take the painting "The Scream" from the wall with a wire cutter. As reported by the BBC , Tuesday (02/11/2020).

Wire cutters were left together with short stairs after the two thieves escaped with paintings . The whole incident was filmed by a security camera.

Museum director Knut Berg, said, "It's impossible to estimate the value of the painting. But the painting is the most valuable in Norway, Munch's painting is the most famous, and may not be sold." Art experts believe the painting is so famous that it cannot be sold.

There is widespread speculation that the theft might have something to do with the Olympics, or it might be a publicity stunt by campaigners.

The museum alarm sounds at 6:30 local time and a security guard immediately notifies the police who arrived at the location after a few minutes. Then the police officers searched for a Mercedes car which was allegedly used as an escape vehicle by the two thieves.

The museum was strongly criticized for its safety after it was revealed that the masterpiece had been moved from the safer first floor to the ground floor for display at the exhibition. It is also believed that the painting is not insured.

The stolen painting is considered the most important of the four versions of Edvard Munch's "The Scream", and was created in 1893 as part of the Frieze of Life series where illness, death, anxiety, and love are the main themes.

The painting has become a picture of human suffering throughout the world. By showing a skull-like face with a wide mouth in pain and despair, against the setting before the blood-red sun sets.

Some of Munch's other paintings that had also been stolen, such as "The Vampire" which is a famous work, were stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo, but were eventually recovered.

"Madonna" lithography was also lost in 1990, another painting which was the result of a portrait study was also taken from the National Museum of Art in August 1993.

In August 2004, another version of "The Scream" was stolen in Oslo from the Munch Museum. Three men were found guilty of alleged theft of the masterpiece by a court in Norway in May 2006.

In August 2006, the Oslo police found "The Scream" and "The Madonna" and were immediately secured. Both works of art were again found with a few minor scratches and tears.

Then the artwork was again exhibited in September 2006 at the Munch Museum by using a thick glass box to secure the painting so it would not be easily stolen.

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