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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 08:04 GMT 09:04 UK
Scream museum defends theft game
The Scream was stolen in the raid along with Madonna, another Munch painting from 1893
Norway's Munch Museum, which was robbed of its iconic painting The Scream last year, has defended a new board game in which players recreate the theft.

Two thieves threatened a staff member with a gun before stealing the Edvard Munch painting as part of a 10m haul from the Oslo museum last August.

The Mystery of The Scream game went on sale at the museum gift shop last week.

"It's a completely innocent game," a museum spokeswoman said. The painting and another Munch work remain missing.

The game is aimed at children over the age of six, and participants play the roles of either detectives or robbers.

"Some people think it's horrible to treat the matter as a game but we see things totally differently," museum spokeswoman Jorunn Christoffersen said.

Game 'educational'

Manufacturer Aschehoug said The Mystery of The Scream was educational.

"In addition to The Scream, the game has 36 cards featuring different artworks that the children know," said the head of Aschehoug's games division Magnus Skrede.

"It's a fun way for them to learn about the diversity of artistic creativity."

But Kaare Berntsen, artistic director of Oslo's Kaare Berntsen Gallery, said: "In principle I find it a bit in bad taste to make a game out of the theft of The Scream.

"My initial reaction is to disapprove of an initiative that helps trivialise a national and international drama while the painting is still missing."

The Scream was stolen in the raid along with Madonna, another Munch painting from 1893.

Police in Norway have charged six men with involvement in the Munch theft, but none has gone to trial.

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