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Five-day exhibition of recovered Munch paintings before restoration

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Oslo (dpa) - Two recently-recovered stolen masterpieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch will be put on public display for five days before conservation experts begin their time-consuming work, museum officials said Monday.

The paintings, Madonna and The Scream, would be displayed lying flat in a specially-designed case, the Munch Museum said.

The paintings will be on display from Wednesday (September 27) to Sunday (October 1).

Other works, sketches as well as notes and photos linked to the two paintings were to be displayed behind the glass case, the museum said.

Police announced August 31 this year that they had recovered the missing works that were stolen by armed robbers in August 2004.

Police have not said how they retrieved the paintings or where they believed they were kept while missing.

The Munch Museum has earlier released photographs of the two paintings, and puncture holes were clearly visible in the Madonna painting.

The Scream, which was painted on cardboard, was damaged in one corner, probably when it was dropped on the floor.

In May, a Norwegian court sentenced three men to jail terms ranging from four to eight years for their role in the theft.

Two of the three were also sentenced to pay sizeable damages, but the prosecutor said he would limit the fines to the cost for restoring the works.

An appeal trial is pending in January.

Munch, who lived from 1863 to 1944, is considered one of Europe's most important expressionist artists. He made several versions of the two recovered works.

Copyright 2006 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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