Edvard Munch's The Scream and Madonna found

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Scream, one of two pieces found in a police raid.

Norwegian Police have said that the stolen Edvard Munch's The Scream and Madonna masterpiece paintings which were stolen by art thieves have been found.

According to officers, the two paintings were recovered in "police action". "We are 100% certain they are the originals. The damage was much less than feared," police said.

In a press conference in Oslo, Norway, police chief Iver Stensrud said: "For two years and nine days we have been hunting systematically for these pictures and now we've found them."

He also added that police suspect the paintings had remained in Norway since they were taken. "We feel we have been hot on the trail of the paintings the whole time, but it has taken time," he said.

They were stolen by art thieves in August 2004 from the Munch Museum in Oslo. Bjoern Hoen, 37, Petter Tharaldsen, 37, and Petter Rosenvinge, 34, were found guilty of stealing the paintings after a trial this May.

The Scream was completed in 1893. It is regarded by many as being one of Munch's most important pieces of work, and is his most recognizable piece amongst the general public.

David Toska, the alleged mastermind of the "NOKAS robbery" was rumoured to have known the whereabouts of the paintings, and they may now have been recovered as a result of some sort of collaboration between him and Norwegian prosecutors. This might result in an improvement of Toska's public image (he's currently sentenced to 20+ years of prison time, after planning and executing a huge bank heist that led to the unfortunate death of a highly respected police officer.).