'Scream' not in prime condition

From the Associated Press

Edvard Munch's masterpiece "The Scream" goes back on display in Oslo, Norway, this week for the first time since it was stolen four years ago, but it has suffered permanent damage, museum officials said Wednesday.

Masked gunmen stole the work and another Munch masterpiece, "Madonna," in a brazen daylight raid on the Munch Museum in August 2004. Police recovered the paintings, considered priceless, more than a year later. Two men have been convicted and sentenced.

The two works show signs of damage despite extensive restoration. At a preview of the exhibition called "The Scream and Madonna Revisited," which opens Friday, water damage to the lower left corner of "The Scream" was clearly visible, as were scrapes to both paintings.

Gro Balas, a spokesman for the city of Oslo, which owns the museum, said they would keep looking for new restoration techniques.

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