Munch paintings found

The Norwegian police has found the two paintings "The Scream" and "Madonna" that were stolen more than two years ago from the Munch Museum in Oslo. The recovered paintings were found with some minor damages, but are in a much better condition than previously feared.

The paintings have been missing for two years and nine days. In May this year, three men were sentenced in connection with the armed robbery of the Munch Museum at Tøyen in Oslo 22 August 2004.  The paintings, however, were still nowhere to be found.

Thursday 31 August 2006 the Oslo Police Department could finally summon the press with the joyful message that Edvard Munch's masterpieces "The Scream" and "Madonna" were found in relatively good condition. The police found the paintings during a big raid, but do not, however, wish to disclose any details as to how they were led to the location where the paintings were kept.

"This is a joyous day," Police Superintendent Iver Stensrud said. He added that the police have systematically followed this case and have been on the trail of the paintings the entire time. The final resolution, however, has taken some time.

"The Scream" is one of the world's most famous paintings, and Munch created the renowned piece of art in 1893. Both "The Scream" and "Madonna" are now being examined by experts and will not be available for public viewing for some time. The relief over the fact that the paintings have finally been located and returned to its owner is nonetheless huge.

"They will be cared for with all the love we have. I think many people are passionate about this and that they experienced the robbery as a personal injustice," said a relieved director of Culture and Sports in Oslo, Gro Balas to the daily newspaper Aftenposten. 

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"The Scream" was stolen with "Madonna" in 2004. Both paintings are now recovered.Photo: © The Munch Museum/ Munch-Ellingsen group/ BONO 2006

"Madonna" (1893Photo: © The Munch Museum/ Munch-Ellingsen group/ BONO 2006