A couple of days ago thieves stole three Edvard Munch paintings from the Hotel Continental in Oslo. But unfortunately for the thieves, all the paintings they stole were fakes
. The hotel had the real paintings in a vault. This confirms a pet theory of mine: that most of the time, when you see a famous painting hanging in a museum or gallery, it's a fake. It's simply too risky to hang the priceless originals out in public, either because they could get stolen or damaged. For instance, I'm convinced that the Mona Lisa hanging on display at the Louvre is a fake. Which means that all those tourists who crowd around it are basically wasting their time. They could see a better version of it on a poster in the gift shop. (But having said this I have to admit that when I was in Paris last year I became one of those tourists who trekked through the Louvre just to see the Mona Lisa).