Edvard Munk (1863-1944), Scandinavia's most important pictorial artist. A pioneer of expressionism.

Museum was visited by members of Bractwo Brygowe during the sailing trip: Rostock-Oslo-Copenhagen-Swinoujcie, August 10-20, 2004His the most famous picture "The Scream" was stolen on August 23th from there.

August 22nd, 2006. Norwegian press informs that some negotiations has been undertaken to get back stolen pictures from thieves.

Edward Munk (1863-1944), najważniejszy skandynawski malarz prezentujący styl zwany ekspresjonizmem.

Muzeum artysty odwiedzili członkowie Bractwa Brygowego na trasie: Rostock-Oslo-Kopenhaga-Świnoujście w dniach 10-20 sierpień 2004.Jego najbardziej znany obraz "Krzyk" został skradziony w dniu 23 sierpnia 2004.

W dniu 22.08.2006 prasa norweska doniosła, że prowadzone są rozmowy ze złodziejami w kwestii zwrotu skradzionych dzieł.

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Kolejna zuchwała kradzież obrazów. Tym razem w Roterdamie
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150 lat

by Edward Dolnic    International Herald Tribune, Wednesday, August 25, 2004

 

The unloving truth about those who steal beauty

 

In a line-up of the world's great art museums, the Museum of the Missing would rank near the top. This imaginary museum, whose collection would consist entirely of stolen paintings and drawings, would sprawl as endlessly as the Louvre. Its treasures would include 551 Picas-sos, 43 Van Goghs, 174 Rembrandts and 209 Ren-oirs. Vermeer would be there, and Caravaggio and Van Eyck and Cezanne.

On Sunday, the museum made two new acquisi­tions, Edvard Munch's "Madonna" and "The Scream," which were taken from the Munch Mu­seum in Oslo.

It wasn't the first time a famous Munch has gone missing. In 1994, on the opening day of the winter Olympics in Norway, another version of "The Scream" was stolen from Norway's National Gal­lery. This time around, thieves stole a different but equally valuable rendition of "The Scream" - Munch returned time and again to the themes that haunted him - and made off with a painting whose open-market value experts put in the neighborhood of $100 million.

Who would steal an instantly recognizable paint­ing? Whenever thieves take a masterpiece too fa­mous to sell openly - when they stole the "Mona Lisa" in 1911, or Vermeer's "The Concert" in 1990, or Leonardo da Vinci's "Madonna of the Yarnwinder" in 2003 - bewildered policemen hint darkly that some criminal mastermind has ordered the theft for his own delectation. Somewhere Dr. No or Thomas Crown lights a cigar and settles back to gaze at the painting forever hidden from all eyes but his own.

Not so. Wherever "The Scream" is now, it is al­most certainly not in a billionaire's study.

Except in movies, thieves are seldom connois­seurs. In the eyes of a typical art thief, the most dazzling of paintings is simply a multimillion dollar bill hanging on a poorly guarded wall.

Whose who steal art are surprisingly casual about the details of how they might turn their newly acquired paintings into money. In my inter­views with art thieves, they talked lightly about "Arab sheiks" or "South American drug lords" sure to want a bargain-price Van Gogh.

Thieves know, too, that a painting doesn't have

to surface to be valuable; it can be used as black-market currency in the underworld. In 1990, Gab­riel Metsu's "Woman Reading a Letter," which had been stolen in Dublin in 1986, turned up in Istan­bul, in the hands of a thief trying to barter it for a shipment of heroin.

Ransom is another possibility. "Art-napping," after all, offers the advantages of kidnapping with-

out all the fuss. No one needs to feed a stolen paint­ing or keep it quiet. And if the police begin closing in, a painting can always be flung into a dumpster.

The game is easy, and thieves are opportunists. Museums will always be vulnerable because they exist to display their treasures to as many people as possible. Banks can hide their money in under­ground vaults and protect it with armed guards, and no one will complain. Compared to even modest banks, many of the world's best museums — espe­cially those in Europe — are as open as street fairs.

Nor are the police much interested in stolen paintings. For them, art smacks of culture and is therefore suspect. The public, too, prefers that the police focus on "real" crime rather than on pur­loined art. Unsolved assaults are scandals; miss­ing paintings are mysteries.

With temptation all around, and punishment unlikely, thieves will inevitably strike — and strike again. Few cases will have happy endings. Ninety percent of stolen art is gone forever. Tide one bright spot is that the greatest paintings, which are the hardest to sell, are the most likely to end up back where they belong.

For criminals are foolish, as the 1994 "Scream" theft demonstrated. After a bumbling attempt to j sell the painting back to the National Gallery, the 1 thieves were ensnared by a Scotland Yard detect­ive, posing as "The Man from the Getty," who was J willing to pay anything to buy back the painting and share it with the world.

Let us pray that thieves have grown no smarter in a decade.

Edward Dolnick is the author of the forthcoming "The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece," about the 1994 theft of Edvard Munch's "The Scream."