[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 31 August 2006, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Stolen Munch paintings found safe
The Scream
Munch painted a number of versions of The Scream
Two masterpieces by artist Edvard Munch have been recovered two years after they were stolen from an Oslo museum.

The Scream and Madonna were found in a police operation. "We are 100% certain they are the originals. The damage was much less than feared," police said.

They had been missing since two armed men ripped them from the wall and threatened staff at the Munch Museum in the Norwegian capital in August 2004.

Three men were found guilty of charges relating to the theft in May.

"We felt it was a victory today when the pictures turned up," police chief Iver Stensrud told a press conference in Oslo.

"For two years and nine days we have been hunting systematically for these pictures and now we've found them."

Mr Stensrud added that police believed the paintings had remained in Norway since they were stolen.

"We feel we have been hot on the trail of the paintings the whole time, but it has taken time," he said.

Two men were pictured running from the museum with the paintings
Two men were pictured running from the museum with the paintings

The Scream, painted in 1893, is one of the world's most recognisable paintings.

The artworks will now be examined by experts to establish what effect their two-year disappearance has had on their condition.

Mr Stensrud said no reward had been paid but would not give details of how the paintings were recovered.

Police said no new arrests had been made and the two gunmen remain at large.

In May, Bjoern Hoen, 37, was sentenced to seven years for planning the robbery, Petter Tharaldsen, 37, got eight years for driving the getaway car and Petter Rosenvinge, 34, received four years for supplying the vehicle.

Hoen and Tharaldsen were also ordered to pay 750m kroner (62.3m) compensation to the City of Oslo to reflect the value of its lost paintings.

Three other men were acquitted. All had pleaded not guilty.

Mr Stensrud said those convicted had not contributed to the recovery of the paintings.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The recovered Munch paintings



SEE ALSO
Three guilty of The Scream theft
02 May 06 |  Entertainment
Trial fails to solve Munch mystery
02 May 06 |  Entertainment
Scream museum defends theft game
25 Oct 05 |  Entertainment
Thieves are asked to save Scream
24 Aug 04 |  Entertainment
Munch's agonising masterpiece
22 Aug 04 |  Entertainment

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites




FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific