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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 June 2005, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Reward offered for Scream return
Edvard Munch's The Scream
The Scream is one of the world's most recognisable paintings
Police in Oslo have offered up to two million kroner (181,500) to anyone who helps them recover a pair of Edvard Munch paintings stolen last year.

Authorities said the reward would go to whoever could "provide information that enables police to return The Scream and Madonna to the city of Oslo".

The paintings - valued at 10.4m - were stolen from Oslo's Munch museum by two armed thieves in August 2004.

Four suspects are being held in custody in connection with the robbery.

The men, none of whom have been named, are alleged to have either aided the thieves or organised the heist. The thieves themselves remain at large.

Dead end

Police lawyer Morten Hojem Ervik denied the reward offer was a sign that the investigation had reached a dead end.

"This is something we've been discussing with the owners all along," he said. "We've been looking for the right time.
The Madonna at a 1999 exhibition in Munich
The Scream was taken along with The Madonna (pictured)

"We think that this may have the effect that the paintings are brought back a little bit earlier."

Edvard Munch (1863-1944) painted four versions of each painting.

Another version of The Scream was stolen in 1994 from the National Gallery in Oslo.

The artwork was missing for three months before being recovered.

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