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Last Updated: Monday, 3 March 2008, 17:17 GMT
Munch's Scream to go back on show
A man views the damaged Scream painting
The damaged paintings were briefly displayed after they were recovered
Repairs to artist Edvard Munch's masterpieces The Scream and Madonna are almost complete, a Norwegian museum has said.

Oslo's Munch Museum said "painstaking" work to repair damage caused by robbers who stole the paintings in a 2004 armed raid was "coming to an end".

Two men have been jailed for stealing the pictures, which were damaged when they were pulled out of their frames.

The works will go back on show in an exhibition from 23 May to 26 September.

The conservation methods used are based on the results of numerous tests and reports
Munch Museum

The paintings were stolen 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 because they thought they may have held tracking devices. They were recovered in August 2006.

The canvas of Madonna was ripped, while The Scream, painted in 1893, suffered less significant damage.

The museum said in a statement: "A great quantity of information concerning the physical and chemical composition of the paintings has been accumulated.

Photographs show damage caused to the paintings

"The conservation methods used are based on the results of numerous tests and reports."

The paintings briefly went on display at the museum in their damaged form a month after they were recovered.

Three men were jailed last April for the robbery.

But one, Bjoern Hoen, had his conviction overturned by the Norwegian Supreme Court in January because of procedural lapses and will face a new trial.

The Scream - one of the world's most recognisable images - and Madonna were part of Munch's Frieze of Life series in which sickness, death, anxiety and love were central themes.

The artist was a major influence in the modern expressionist movement and died in 1944 at the age of 80.

SEE ALSO
Munch's masterpieces back on show
27 Sep 06 |  Entertainment
Munch paintings 'can be repaired'
01 Sep 06 |  Entertainment
Stolen Munch paintings found safe
31 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Munch's agonising masterpiece
22 Aug 04 |  Entertainment

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