Thursday, February 10, 2005

Originally uploaded by Art or Idiocy?.

So The Scream and his girlfriend the Madonna are still missing. No one seems to care much anymore. I'm sure the museum still cares and the police care and the people of Norway care. Do you care? I care, but not that much. I feel guilty that I don't care that much. I'm racked with artguilt, what the Germans call Kunstschuld.

I haven't even thought about it in a while. But I did yesterday and so I checked what Aftenposten had to say. Its latest story on the subject was from back in December. It stated that when people witnessed the crime, they noticed the paintings and especially the Madonna were treated very carelessly. An unnamed source who runs in the underworld, claims to have seen the two pieces, and says they are in rough shape. Several sources claim that the Madonna is completely ruined. The criminal's story who contacted the press confirms these fears. The article also said the police remain optimistic and claim to have linked the getaway car to several suspects they know by name.

Will these paintings ever resurface? It doesn't seem likely after all this time. I could see the Madonna, hanging in tatters off it's shattered stretchers being dropped off in front of the Munch Museet. Maybe that is how it will go down. The paintings will appear in front of the museum, leaning against the doors. Or maybe the thieves will walk up in broad daylight to return them.

I've also recently come across this interesting tidbit: The theives of the other Scream from a few years back, left a note which read, "Thanks for the lousey security." Ouch.


Dan said...

"I could see the Madonna, hanging in tatters off it's shattered stretchers..."

Wasn't the Madonna a work on paper? I seem to recall that being a major reason for the original heightened concern for it.

The Artist Extraordinaire said...

I was going over my notes and there seems to be some confusion. The main discrepancy is which Madonna was actually stolen. The more famous Madonna is supposedly housed in the National Gallery of Norway. But on the Munch Museum’s website, the same picture shows up. I don’t know if the Madonna has recently been gifted or loaned to the Munch Museum or what. But that seems unlikely. It also seems unlikely that the Munch Museum would mistakenly post the wrong image, but it could happen. Comparing the reproductions, they seem too similar to be different pieces.

So, officially, which may be true and just the wrong image is on the website, the Munch Museum owns a Madonna on canvas, which was stolen. And the National Gallery also owns a Madonna which is safe and sound. The two painted versions of The Scream, the stolen one and the one at the National Gallery of Norway, are both tempera on cardboard.

It’s difficult to dig up specifics like this, and often different sources conflict. So maybe I should have just said, “I don’t know...I thought it was The Scream which was painted on cardboard.”