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Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 12:35 GMT 13:35 UK
Munch paintings 'can be repaired'
The Scream
The Scream had been banged hard in one corner, the gallery said
The recovered Edvard Munch masterpiece The Scream has been returned to a museum in Oslo with "hardly any damage at all", Norwegian police have said.

Madonna, the second stolen painting, has some minor scrapes and holes, police spokesman Morten Hojem Ervik told the AFP news agency.

But he refused to say how or where officers had retrieved the artworks.

The Munch Museum said the damage was not as bad as feared and its experts could repair the famous pictures.

The paintings are now back at the museum. They were stolen by two armed men in a daring daylight raid in 2004.

Two men running with the paintings
Two men were pictured running from the museum with the paintings
"The condition is much better than we might have expected," museum director Ingebjoerg Ydstie told the Associated Press.

The Scream - painted in 1893 and now one of the world's most recognisable artworks - had been banged hard in one corner, she said.

Madonna had a hole measuring about 2.5cm (1in) along with some loose paint, Ms Ydstie added.

"Our skilled conservators will be able to repair the damage."

The paintings were part of the Frieze of Life series by Munch in which sickness, death, anxiety and love were central themes.

The recovered Munch paintings

Stolen Munch paintings found safe
31 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
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
Munch's agonising masterpiece
22 Aug 04 |  Entertainment


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