Edvard Munch's paintings The Scream and Madonna will be back on display at Oslo's Munch Museum this summer, nearly four years after they were snatched in a brazen daylight heist.


The Munch Museum saw its attendance spike in September 2006 when it briefly displayed two recovered paintings, The Scream, left, and Madonna. ((Cornelius Poppe/Scanpix Norway/Associated Press))

Officials said on Monday that restoration of the two masterpieces is nearing completion, allowing the paintings to be featured as part of the museum's summer exhibition, set to begin in late May for a four-month run.

The two canvases will be part of a show providing insight into restoration efforts and procedures.

A trio of masked, armed men burst into the Munch Museum on August 22, 2004 and, to the horror of museum-goers and staff, ripped the two works from the walls before escaping via by car.

After a massive police effort, authorities recovered the two works nearly two years later — although the canvases had suffered some damage.

About a month after their recovery, the artworks — complete with scratches, small tears and moisture damage — were briefly put on display under protective glass at the museum because of intense public desire to see the paintings.

Experts were brought in to complete the painstaking restoration of the famed expressionist paintings.

Two men have been convicted and imprisoned for the 2004 theft. A third man faces a new trial after his conviction was recently overturned by the Norwegian Supreme Court.

The museum's lax security system was exposed during the police investigation following the robbery. The Oslo venue has since undergone major security upgrades, with valuable works now displayed behind glass and all visitors passing through metal detectors.