Have you seen this painting? The figure looks terrified! Who would want to see this agonized face every day?
Apparently, a lot of people. Recently one of the four versions of this iconic painting by Edvard Munch was sold at auction for almost 120 million dollars, the highest price ever paid for a painting in an auction.
Not only that, the painting has been stolen two times in the last few decades!
Today is the anniversary of the 1994 recovery of the painting after the first highly-publicized theft.
Munch was a Norwegian artist, so the painting was displayed in Norway's capital, Oslo. On February 22, 1994, the Winter Olympics opened in Lillehammer, Norway; The Scream had been moved down to the second floor of the National Gallery, a prominent display of Norwegian pride for all the international visitors who had come to see the Olympics. Amid the hubbub and excitement of the Olympics, that day in February, the painting was stolen. The thieves left a note that said, “Thanks for the poor security.”
Of course, there were one or two reporters around (this was, after all, the Olympic Games!), and the theft made big international news. The thieves tried to ransom the painting for one million dollars, but the gallery refused to pay. Instead, Norwegian police worked with British police and America's Getty Museum in creating a sting operation; on this date in 1994, three months after the theft, the police were able to find and recover the painting—totally unharmed—and catch the four thieves.
|There are many parodies|
of The Scream in
Another version of The Scream was stolen from a different Norwegian museum in 2004 and recovered two years later. Right now, all four versions are safe and sound, with their owners.
KinderArt has a cool art project called “Things That Make Us Want to Scream.” There's even a link to a theory about why the sky in the painting is so red.
|Many people have copied the painting with|
changes or additions, such as this version
Also on this date:
Anniversary of the world premiere of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony