>>> The News: JAY KAY!
By staff writer Amir Blumenfeld
August 25, 2004

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The breakdown (for college people)

Armed Art Thieves Steal Munch's “The Scream”

By Alister Doyle and Inger Sethov

OSLO (Reuters) – Armed robbers stole “The Scream” and another masterpiece by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch on Sunday in a bold daytime raid on an Oslo museum in front of dozens of terrified tourists.

“OH MY GOD!! THEY'RE STEALING THAT PAINTING!!! WHAT'S IT CALLED, AGAIN?!?!? I FORGET!!!!” terrified tourists screamed.

Two masked robbers ran into the Munch Museum, threatened staff with a handgun and forced people to lie down before grabbing “The Scream,” an icon of existential angst showing a waif-like figure against a blood-red sky, and “Madonna.”

How mad can you be at terrorists that wanna steal really priceless pieces of ART instead of robbing banks or killing people? The answer is: REALLY ANGRY!!!

Some stunned visitors said they feared they were victims of a terror attack. The men simply walked out the front door with one painting bumping on the ground and escaped in a stolen black Audi car driven by a third man, police said.

Is it really THAT easy to steal art? Just threaten to kill some docents, walk out and put it in a car and drive? *3 minutes of silence, then the sound of several people running to their cars, door closing, and tires screeching*

Worth millions of dollars, the pictures are among Munch's best-known, even though he produced several versions of both 1893 works. “Madonna” shows a mysterious bare-breasted woman with flowing black hair.

“We're following all possible leads … but we don't know who did this,” police detective chief inspector Kjell Pedersen told a news conference. One of the thieves spoke during the robbery in Norwegian.


The wooden frames of the paintings were found smashed and scattered along an Oslo street and the car was separately found abandoned a few km (miles) away with no trace of the paintings.

The smashed wooden frames were then stolen from the ground by more Norwegian terrorists. Vicious cycle indeed.

Munch, a founder of modern expressionism who lived from 1863 to 1944, painted the two works as part of a series about love, angst and death.

Yeah that's what Axl Rose said “Use Your Illusion 2” was about. I didn't buy it then, and I won't buy it now. *Norwegian terrorists burst into my house and burn my Guns ‘n Roses mp3's onto a CD and leave*

Art experts speculated the thieves might want a ransom as the works are too well known to be sold except to a reclusive collector. But, Pedersen said: “We have heard nothing.”

He didn't actually say, “We have heard nothing,” he signed it. You see, Pederson is deaf.

Police cordoned off the museum, informed Interpol and alerted airports and border crossings. No shots were fired but a female guard was treated for shock. Up to 70 people were in the museum at the time and perhaps 30 witnessed the robbery.

When questioned they all said the same thing: “Durrr, they went thattaway,” and pointed to the door.

“I saw one of the men put a gun right behind a guard's head,” said Richard Marcus, a 63-year-old Texas businessman visiting Oslo. “It took a long time for the police to come.”

“I say he stole, I say he stole that there painting right there he did. Yeehaw!” said the Texas businessman who I assume sounds like foghorn leghorn for some reason.

Czech student Marketa Cajova said many feared the attackers were terrorists. “He had a black face mask,” she told NRK radio.

“Wait,” Cajova said, “Do terrorists wear black face masks or blue ones… I always forget the rhyme. Blue before poo except after c… Oh I give up!”

Another, perhaps better known, version of “The Scream” was stolen from Norway's National Gallery when thieves simply broke a window and climbed in with a ladder in February 1994 on the opening day of the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

I'm sorry, OTHER, BETTER KNOWN VERSION? How many of these same exact paintings did he fucking make? Am I getting all excited for nothing?!

The version of “The Scream” stolen on Sunday is a fragile tempera and pastel on board. “It's impossible to say which is the best,” said Gunnar Soerensen, head of the Munch Museum. A third, less well known, version is in private hands.

A thir… a THIR… A THIRD!!! A THIRD VERSION!!! Is it really “impossible” to know which one's the best? Because one paragraph ago, the author of this article didn't seem to have that much of a problem making HIS decision, now DID HE Gunnar Soerensen!

In 1994, the government refused to pay a ransom for “The Scream” and police caught the thieves and recovered the picture. One of those thieves, now out of jail, said via his lawyer that he was not involved on Sunday.

That would be so funny to get thrown into jail, come out, then steal it again. Talk about resiliency!

A Norwegian art expert estimated “The Scream” stolen on Sunday would fetch $60-$75 million if sold at auction and “Madonna” $15 million.

Hahahaha , sold at an AUCTION?!? “Okay, our next item up for bid is by these eight masked gentlemen who want to sell ‘The Scream.' Let the bidding start at 70 million. Yes 70 million to the head of Norwegian police, do I hear 71 million?”

In the foreground of “The Scream,” on a road with railings, is a human figure with hands to the head, eyes staring, mouth agape. Further back are two men in top hats and behind them a landscape of fjord and hills in wavy lines against a red sky.

You see in Norway, a picture is only worth 48 words…'cause of the exchange rate and all.