Let’s Not “Scream” Yet…

Squeezed May 1, 2005

While reading some of the blogs on my blogroll today, I happened across this rather disturbing report (via Blogtopus):

The Munch masterpieces “The Scream” and “Madonna” have been incinerated, according to newspaper Dagbladet [sic], citing criminal sources and a top secret police report.

I’ve seen lots of entries in the blogosphere about it, some of which are lamenting its demise and untimely cremation. But before we scream ourselves, let’s take a few deep breaths.

The report cites an article by the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, which in turns cites a “top secret police report” and “criminal sources.” Of course, the Oslo police have no comment, but one comment from the lead detective, Iver Stensrud, is telling (emphasis is mine):

“This is completely unknown to Oslo police. I basically have no comment and normally we do not use Dagbladet as a reliable source here at the Oslo police,” Stensrud told NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting).

I took a look at Dagbladet’s Web site, and I saw some pictures of the paper itself. Even though I can’t read Norwegian, I can say that it looks like a tabloid. Something you would find in American supermarkets next to the National Enquirer.

Maybe tabloids don’t have the stigma in Europe as they do in the United States, and perhaps they have reputable news. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the detective said the equivalent of “we do not rely on Weekly World News as a reputable source.”

Of course, I searched on CNN and MSNBC and came up empty, although both sites reported on the original theft of “The Scream.”

So, I really hope that it’s not true, that the paintings are safe and sound, if held for ransom, somewhere. Or, at least, still intact. I’m not ready to write its obituary yet.

2 Responses to “Let’s Not “Scream” Yet…”

  1. Blogtopus Says:

    I certainly hope you’re right. There is a second edition of it, but if this stuff is getting stolen as often as we are led to believe, this is bound to happen sooner or later!

    Thanks for the optimism!

  2. wildheart Says:

    The sad fact is that the *look* of serious, Scandinavian newspapers is very tabloid to American eyes. My husband is from Sweden and every time we go back to visit, I have to make fun of the papers. And when we’re in the US, I often point to the tabloids and ask if they don’t make him feel homesick ;-)

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