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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 September 2005, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Woman arrested over Scream theft
Edvard Munch's The Scream
The Scream is one of the world's most recognisable paintings
Police in Norway have detained a woman suspected of links to the 2004 theft of Edvard Munch's painting The Scream.

The woman is believed to have been an accomplice in the theft of the 1893 work from the Munch Museum in Oslo.

She was charged with handling stolen goods after allegedly being found to have banknotes from a bank robbery in which a policeman was shot dead.

A police lawyer said the woman was suspected of being an accomplice to the Munch theft but gave no more details.

Police lawyer Morten Hojem Ervik said the woman, who is in her 40s, had been arrested at her home in Oslo on Thursday.

He declined to comment on whether police suspected that the paintings theft was linked to the gang behind the bank robbery in the western port of Stavanger in April last year.

"We do not believe she took part in the robbery itself," he said.

Missing paintings

Thirteen men went on trial on charges relating to the bank robbery this week. All deny involvement in the Munch theft.

Police have separately charged six men with involvement in the Munch theft, but none has gone to trial. Three are being held in custody.

Police say they believe another 10 to 15 people in the criminal underground were involved.

The Madonna at a 1999 exhibition in Munich
The Scream was taken along with The Madonna (pictured)

The Scream, along with Madonna, another Munch work from 1893 taken in the raid, remains missing.

The thieves threatened staff with a gun and stole the artwork from the museum's walls.

The paintings are valued at more than 10m.

In June, the Norwegian authorities offered a reward of two million Kroner (170,000) for information leading to their return.


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