Thursday, August 31, 2006

Break open the champagne, it's back

It's back:

The Edvard Munch paintings "The Scream" and "Madonna," which two armed robbers yanked from the wall of a museum here in August 2004, were recovered in relatively good condition during a police operation Thursday afternoon.

No arrests were made and the case remains far from solved, with the police saying little apart from confirming that the pictures were safe. But Norwegians rejoiced in the return of two of their most treasured artworks.

"We're open for champagne tonight to anyone who wants to come by and celebrate," said Knut Forsberg, chairman of Blomqvist Fine Arts, which served as Munch's main gallery while he lived.

A celebration is in order, but when it's done, it's time to do a major overhaul of something in Norway, such as buffing up museum security or stiffening the penalties for Scream stealing. As you probably know, the Scream has been stolen before. A different version (Munch created four) was stolen in 1994. Both thefts occurred during the Olympics. Unless the Norwegians want Scream stealing to become a regular Olympic sport, it's time to take some people out to the fjord, if you know what I mean.

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