Stolen Edvard Munch Work Recovered After Seven Years Missing

The suspects reportedly have known criminal records.

Edvard Munch, <Em>Historien (History)</em>, a copy on view at the University of Oslo's hall of ceremonies. <br>Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Edvard Munch, Historien (History), a copy on view at the University of Oslo’s hall of ceremonies.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Police have recovered Historien (History), a hand-colored 1914 Edvard Munch lithograph stolen from an Olso gallery that has been missing for nearly seven years, and arrested two men in connection with the crime.

According to a statement from police spokesperson Unni Groendal, the two men are suspected of having handling stolen goods, not of having carried out the actual heist. She confirmed that police found the lithograph on Monday, April 4, but did not divulge how the work was obtained.

The 1914 print was worth 2 million kroner (about $239,000), according to art dealer Pascal Nybord, owner of the Nyborg’s Kunst gallery. On November 12, 2009, thieves broke the establishment’s window with a rock, and left with the valuable artwork.

Following the burglary, police recovered the robbers’ car, which had been reported stolen some ten days before the art gallery was targeted. At the time, John Roger Lund, head of the Oslo police’s organized crime unit told the press that “this leads us to believe it was a well planned robbery,” as reported by Agence France-Presse.

The Norwegian artist has been a repeat victim for art thieves, with a number of high-profile art heists targeting his work, including 1994 and 2004 thefts of versions of Munch’s most famous work, The Scream. The latter crime took place in the middle of the day, carried out by armed gunmen.

The two newly-apprehended suspects in the Historien case were awaiting a pre-trial detention hearing on Wednesday, April 6, according to the Associated Press.

Rendering of the Lambda, the new Munch Museum designed by Estudio Hereros.Photo: Courtesy Estudio Hereros.

Rendering of the Lambda, the new Munch Museum designed by Estudio Hereros.
Photo: Courtesy Estudio Hereros.

In other Munch-related news, Oslo’s city council has recommitted to meeting the planned 2020 opening date for the upcoming Munch museum, which will house the 28,000 objects the artist bequeathed to the city when he died in 1944. The high-rise museum, known as the Lambda, is expected to cost up to NOK 2.7 billion ($314 million).

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