Not A Pretty Picture

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The Scream, Munch, 1910. / MUNCH MUSEUM

It’s been almost two years since police recovered The Scream and Madonna, the Edvard Munchs that were stolen in 2004 from the Munch Museum in Oslo. We’ve known for a while that both paintings were damaged during the theft and after. Tomorrow they go on display again at the museum, and the general public is getting a first look at the full extent of the damage. Not good.

The essentials, from the Associated Press:

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.

“There has been an extremely comprehensive process to restore the paintings. There was significant damage,” said Gro Balas, a spokesman for the city of Oslo, which owns the museum. “There is still a moisture stain on ‘The Scream’ that cannot be repaired.”

Damage to “Madonna” included cuts and tears that were repaired by gluing threads of canvas in the damaged areas back together one at a time, said Mette Havrevold, who led the restoration effort. She said the damage that can still be seen in the painting will be repaired later in the year.