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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 April 2005, 12:11 GMT 13:11 UK
Third Scream suspect is charged
The Madonna at a 1999 exhibition in Munich
The Scream was taken along with The Madonna (pictured)
Norwegian police have arrested and charged a third man over the theft of Edvard Munch's painting The Scream.

Earlier this month, a 33-year-old man was remanded in custody over the theft and a 37-year-old man was charged as an accessory. None have been named.

The 1893 masterpiece and another Munch painting, The Madonna, were stolen from Oslo's Munch Museum by two armed and masked thieves in August 2004.

They made off with the paintings in a car driven by a third person.

This latest arrest has raised hopes of a breakthrough in finding the paintings.

"We stress that the paintings have not been recovered but we are optimistic that they will be found," said police lawyer Morten Hojem Ervik.

Daylight robbery

The Scream and the Madonna are together worth about 10.4m.

Experts say the two paintings are too recognisable for the thieves to sell.

They were stolen in broad daylight from the Munch Museum in Oslo on 22 August last year.

Two masked thieves pulled the artworks off the wall as stunned visitors looked on.

One robber threatened staff with a gun before the pair escaped in the waiting car, which was recovered shortly afterwards.

Oslo police also found parts of picture frames near where a witness reported seeing a suspect vehicle.

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