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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 September 2006, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
Munch paintings back on display
Photographs show damage caused to the paintings

Two recovered Edvard Munch paintings will go on display in Oslo before they are repaired, say museum officials.

Masterpieces The Scream and Madonna were stolen by two armed men in a daring daylight raid in 2004.

Police recovered the paintings in August, and Norway's Munch Museum said both works had suffered slight damage.

They will be put on display briefly over the next few weeks as the public is "very curious" to see them, said museum director Ingebjoerg Ydstie.

A photograph released by the museum on Tuesday shows a rip in the canvas of Madonna.

The Scream - painted in 1893 and now one of the world's most recognisable artworks - suffered less significant damage.

"One corner is dented as if someone had dropped it, and then there is some damp damage," Gro Balas, an Oslo culture official, told the Reuters news agency.

'Painstaking restoration'

Experts say they will be able to repair the paintings, but the restoration process will be painstaking and time-consuming.

The paintings were stolen in 2004 by two armed men who ripped them from the museum's wall after threatening a member of staff with a gun.

The robbers pulled the pictures out of their frames, possibly fearing they could have held tracking devices.

After a series of arrests in 2005, three men were found guilty of charges relating to the theft in May this year, receiving prison sentences of between four to eight years.

Police recovered the paintings several months later and handed them back to the Munch Museum.

They are undergoing technical investigation by police and curators, including efforts to lift fingerprints and DNA.


SEE ALSO
Munch paintings 'can be repaired'
01 Sep 06 |  Entertainment
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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