Expatica news

The Scream theft ‘planned in Spain’

26 August 2004

MADRID – Police investigating the dramatic theft of Edvard Munch’s masterpiece ‘The Scream’ believe the armed raid could have been planned in Spain, it was reported Thursday.

The Spanish daily El Mundo said police sources believed organised crime bosses living in the Costa del Sol, in Andalusia, are thought to be among the suspects behind the theft of the painting from a gallery in the Norwegian capital at the weekend.

Police said sources among the Oslo underworld revealed the thieves were paid EUR 60,000 to steal the painting.

The person who led the dramatic theft is thought to be a rich Norwegian, with links to the Mediterranean.

The unnamed suspect is thought to have made a fortune smuggling drugs and alcohol.

They are also believed to have arranged the theft and the subsequent sale of the painting with a source in Dubai in the Middle East.

But police stressed they are considering all theories.

A group of wealthy Norwegian art lovers is thinking of offering a ransom for the thieves to return the painting.

The bid was led by Peter Olson, eldest son of a wealthy Norwegian businessman.

He owns one of the four versions of ‘The Scream’ painted by Munch in 1893.

A Norwegian newspaper reported how a woman watched from the balcony of her apartment as the thieves wrenched the canvass from the frame.

The Munich Museum opened again Wednesday but the place where ‘The Scream’ was displayed remained empty.

The director of the museum decided not to fill the space with the second version of the same painting, which the museum owns, but which is considered not as good as the one that was stolen.

The theft has provoked a controversy over the security at art museums in the country as it was the second theft of ‘The Scream’ in ten years.

The museum received EUR 61,000 in March to improve security.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news