August 31, 2006

The Scream Recovered!

Snapshots In My Time...
Of My Time.....Hauntings.

"The Scream" and another stolen masterpiece by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch were recovered by police on Thursday, two years and nine days after gunmen seized the paintings from an Oslo museum.

"'The Scream' and 'Madonna' are now in police possession," police chief Iver Stensrud told a news conference. "The damage is much less than we could have feared."

He said the pictures were recovered on Thursday afternoon in "a successful police operation" but dodged questions about how it was done. He said no ransom had been paid "as of today."

"The Scream," Munch's most famous work, is an icon of existential angst showing a terrified figure against a blood-red sky. "Madonna" shows a bare-breasted woman with long black hair.

Two masked gunmen walked into the Munch Museum in Oslo in broad daylight in August 2004 and yanked the two works from the walls in front of dozens of terrified tourists. They escaped in a car driven by another man.

The paintings are both from 1893. Three men were convicted in May of taking part in the theft and were sentenced to up to eight years in jail.

Two of them were ordered to pay $122 million in damages. Three other men were acquitted.

Police said no new arrests or charges had been made in connection with the recovery of the paintings.

Experts at the Munch Museum had examined the pictures and judged them authentic, a museum official said. A scientific examination will also be carried out to verify the works.

A spokeswoman for a City of Oslo foundation that owns the Munch Museum collection said she hoped the paintings could be put back on display soon.


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