Three found guilty over Scream theft

A Norwegian court has found three people guilty over the theft of Edvard Munch's famous "Scream" painting.

    The paintings have never been recovered

    The painting, along with another Munch masterpiece called "Madonna", was snatched by masked gunman in a daring daylight raid on the Munch museum in Oslo in August 2004.

     

    Both works have never been recovered.

     

    The court convicted Bjoern Hoen, 37, for providing the getaway car and sentenced him to seven years in prison, while Petter Tharaldsen, 34, who drove the car was given eight years.

     

    A third man, Petter Rosenvinge, 38, was convicted and sentenced to four years for providing the car.

     

    Hoen and Tharaldsen were also ordered to pay $123 million in compensation to the city of Oslo, which owns the paintings.

     

    A further three men - Stian Skjold, 30, who had been accused of being one of the two robbers; Morten Hugo Johansen, 39 and Thomas Nataas, 35, accused of handling stolen goods, were all acquitted.

     

    Fruitless search

     

    The paintings were stolen by two armed men who entered the Munch Museum in Oslo on August 22, 2004 and threatened staff, before ripping the paintings off the wall and escaping in a getaway car driven by an accomplice.

     

    Although both paintings are believed to be too well known to be sold on the open art market, their fate remains a mystery, despite an international search and a considerable reward for their recovery.

     

    Munch painted four versions of "The Scream", one of the world's most recognised paintings. Its iconic open-mouthed  scream is said by critics to symbolise modern man suffering an attack of existential angst.

     

    A major influence in the birth of the 20th Century expressionist movement, Munch died in 1944 aged 80.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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