The Munch Museum is still closed and has this depressing press release on its website. It finally appeared, it only took them 4 months to actually acknowledge that the crime had already occurred. And of course, no amount of security will bring those paintings back.
Press release 05.11.2004
The Munch museum will remain closed until June 2005
On August 22 armed robbers stole the iconic Edvard Munch paintings "The Scream" and "Madonna" from the Munch Museum. The robbery represents a new threat -situation for Norwegian museums. "Det norske Veritas" was engaged to perform a comprehensive security analysis for the Munch museum, and was asked to review aspects of security related to robbery, break-ins and fire. The report is now completed, and the analyses include several suggestions involving concrete measures for improvements. The suggestions will be followed up, and the necessary work to upgrade security will commence immediately.
The rebuilding of parts of the museum makes it necessary for the museum to remaint closed until the summer of 2005. The planned exhibitions for autumn 2004 and spring 2005, a comprehensive presentation of Munch's drawings, and "The Years of Vitalism", will be on display at a later time. The museum's library will be open, but the coffee shop and museum-shop will also be closed.
People will probably loose their jobs over this, the museum may even be discredited and be refused future loans. But in the end, no one seems to care. It also makes you think about whether or not a work of art really needs to be around. I never really planned on going to that museum to see the work. So does that mean my experience of the Madonna is diminished or invalid? And think of all the other art you only see as a picture. I do all the time and that sort of realization really affects my approach to art making.