April 28, 2005

Munch Theft update: Paintings destroyed?

Since the Scream and the Madonna were stolen, I have maintained the hope that they would be returned, unharmed. That may have been foolish. According to Aftenposten today:

The Munch masterpieces "The Scream" and "Madonna" have been incinerated, according to newspaper Dagbladet, citing criminal sources and a top secret police report. The paper claimed Thursday that the paintings were destroyed in order to get rid of damning evidence as the police investigation closes in on the culprits behind the robbery.

Investigation leader Iver Stensrud of the Oslo police said he had no knowledge of the supposedly secret report acknowledging the destruction of the paintings.

"This is completely unknown to Oslo police. I basically have no comment and normally we do not use Dagbladet as a reliable source here at the Oslo police," Stensrud told NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting).

Three people are in custody in connection with the Munch robbery, but none of them are linked to crime via technical evidence, and the pair that carried out the heist are considered to be at large.

Dagbladet cited both criminal and police sources in their reportage, and said that police expect new arrests in the case shortly.

In any event, prepare for the worst.

Posted by Random Penseur at April 28, 2005 11:20 AM

I still say they're hidden in somebody's vault. This does nothing to convince me otherwise. It smells like a ruse.

Either way, we'll never see them again.

Posted by: Kathy at April 28, 2005 02:55 PM

If it does prove true, what a tragedy of epic proportions. So unnecessary. Uncivilized even. I won't be surprised to find it so, but it will nick the armor a bit more than it already is.

Posted by: Jennifer at April 28, 2005 04:39 PM

Holy shit!!!!

Posted by: Mark at April 29, 2005 02:50 PM

Wow... that sucks. I got the news here first. Not that Norwegian news is fully reliable... But if the story is true... damn.. that sucks.

Wouldn't have been smarter to just give it back? Norwegian authorities would have probably given a very lenient sentence.

Posted by: Dr Pants at April 29, 2005 04:47 PM
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