In a bold display of chutzpah, robbers stole two Edvard Munch paintings during museum hours yesterday, including the iconic Scream painting. Robbers brushed past visitors at the Munch Museum to take the paintings off the walls, and then sped away in an Audi. This might be the one instance where countries less peaceful than Norway get to crow about their overzealous martial attitudes, because the incredible thing is that this is the second time the painting has been stolen - the other time being an incident in 1994 at the National Gallery in Oslo. We especially enjoyed the quotes from the NY Times article:

- Former Oslo police detective on the 1994 case, Leif A. Lier, saying, " Munch Museum director Gunnar Sorensen saying, "The important thing was that we got the picture back...Hasn't the city of Oslo learned anything about security in 10 years? I am shocked that once again it was so easy."
- Another detective formerly involved with the case called the robbers "cunning and stupid at the same time - there's no way to unload them."
Munch Museum director Gunnar Sorenson wondered, "If you bought a work like that, how would you use it? You can't present it for the public or even your friends. It is possible that some lunatic collector in some remote place in the world would like to have it, but that sounds more like a good film manuscript than reality."

The recent 1999 update of The Thomas Crown Affair is about one such lunatic, with a dashing industrialist stealing paintings from the Metropolitan Museum for kicks. And while the IMDB listing says the interiors were filmed there, Gothamist knows that the Met actually refused to let filmmakers to film inside, lest people think they could actually steal paintings. Instead, the filmmakers used the main New York Public Library branch. But this in this instance, the Munch paintings were not insured against theft. D'oh!