Makes You Wanna Holler

An account of the 1994 theft of The Scream examines the lowbrow world of high-art thievery

When Edvard Munch's painting The Scream was stolen last year from the Munch Museum in Oslo, it was hard to know how much comfort to take from the fact that 10 years earlier, a different version of the picture--there are four--had been nabbed from another Norwegian museum. On the one hand, it was a comfort that that version was returned unharmed. On the other, nobody seems to have learned anything from the first theft. Museum security was still utterly insufficient, in part because gallery officials depended on the fantasy that no one would steal such a famous painting. And you wonder...

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