A New Reason Why Munch's Famous Painting Is Screaming

Climate activists tried to glue themselves to 'The Scream' at National Museum in Oslo, Norway
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 12, 2022 9:00 AM CST
A New Reason Why Munch's Famous Painting Is Screaming
People look at Edvard Munch's "The Scream" at the National Gallery in Oslo, Norway, on Jan. 13, 2019.   (Heiko Junge/NTB Scanpix via AP, file)

Norwegian police said two climate activists tried in vain Friday to glue themselves to Edvard Munch's 1893 masterpiece The Scream at an Oslo museum, and that no harm was reported to the famous painting. Police said they were alerted to the incident by Norway's National Museum and had three people under their "control," per the AP. A third person filmed the pair that tried to affix to the painting, according to Norwegian news agency NTB. The museum said that the room where the glass-protected painting is exhibited "was emptied of the public and closed" and will reopen as soon as possible. The rest of the museum remained open. Police said glue residue remained on the painting's glass mount.

A video of the incident showed museum guards holding two activists, with one shouting, "I scream for people dying!" Another shouted, "I scream when lawmakers ignore science!" as someone shielded The Scream. Environmental activists from the Norwegian organization Stopp Oljeletinga—Norwegian for "stop oil exploration"—were behind the stunt, saying they "wanted to pressure lawmakers" into doing just that. Norway is a major producer of offshore oil and gas. "We are campaigning against [The Scream] because it is perhaps Norway's most famous painting," Astrid Rem, a spokesperson for the Norwegian group, said. "There have been lots of similar actions around Europe. They have managed something that no other action has managed: achieve an extremely large amount of coverage and press."

It was the latest episode in which climate activists have targeted famous paintings in European museums. Two Belgian activists who targeted Johannes Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring in a Dutch museum in October were sentenced to two months in prison. The painting wasn't damaged and was returned to its wall a day later. Earlier this month, climate protesters threw mashed potatoes at a Claude Monet painting in a German museum, and a similar protest happened in London, where protesters threw soup over Vincent Van Gogh's Sunflowers at the National Gallery. In both those cases, the paintings also weren't damaged.

(Read more The Scream stories.)

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