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What were they supposed to do: "no, you can't have the painting, now pi$$ off before I hit you with this dead fish".
Apart from having armed guards (at the Munch museum!?) or hanging the painting in a cage (which sort of defies the point of displaying artwork for the public) - what were they supposed to do?
joined:Apr 13, 2002
Well, there is lots they could have done. The fact that they had ten years to plan for this makes them look worse.
The design of the museum space itself should discourage theft. The NY MOMA would be a difficult place to conduct such a heist because of the many stairs and elevators you have to take to get out. Same for the SF MOMA.
It would be difficult for two people to pull the same stunt in the small Yale museum that contains dozens of famous works by Magritte, Mondrian, Van Gogh, Picasso, Pollock, etc. Every room has several guards with walkie talkies, the upper floors are accessible by elevators, the rooms with the famous works are located upstairs. It would be difficult to steal from any of those museums.
There were no alarms in the museum. The painting was out in the open hanging on picture wire. Sheesh... it's like they were asking for it.
Just seen a report on [UK] Channel 4 News that suggests this has been the near-unanimous reaction of the Norwegian press. They've also, according to the same report, gone to town over the decision of the Munch Museum not to insure the painting against theft...
I heard that when teh Mona Lisa was sent to teh US in the 30's it was sent via commercial mail to save teh costs.
Couldnt imagine that happening now!
I read in the paper the other day that he painted the bridge to "represent the solidity of Norwegian society" or something. I immediately got a mental picture of him starting the painting and thinking ... "Hmmm, I suppose I better include a bridge that is representative of Norwegian society today."
There was no insurance because insurance can't replace a work of art, the museum understood that what is on display is art, not money. This may be a difficult concept for some people to grasp, especially people who think money is the final arbitrator of value.
The main problem the norwegian museum made was not realizing that not everyone thinks about things the way they do (they tend to be fairly honest), and borders are no longer very meaningful in the new Europe, that's naivity for sure, but it's also a sort of nice reflection on Norwegian society, which will probably have to face up to reality and make adjustments to its role and presence in the new Europe.
This was I believe the first armed type art robbery in Norway, there was little reason for them to expect it, although hanging the painting that close to the entrance was not the brightest move, although I understand it, the museum wanted to show its best to people right away.
I'll let 'em hang an original finger-painting by my 8 year old. Not replacement art - rather substitute art. If someone takes it, we'll promptly whip up another substitute. :)