Van Gogh painting stolen from Cairo museum

August 22nd, 2010 - 1:13 am ICT by IANS  

Cairo, Aug 21 (DPA) One of Vincent Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, “Poppy Flowers”, has been stolen from a museum in Cairo, Egypt’s Ministry of Culture said Saturday.
It was not immediately clear how the thieves managed to steal the painting from the Mahmoud Khalil museum, but Culture Minister Farouq Hosni ordered urgent measures to prevent it being taken out of the country.

In 1978, the same painting was stolen, but was returned shortly afterwards. One year later, a duplicate was sold for $43 million in London, sparking a debate in Egypt whether the returned painting was, in fact, a fake.

The museum is named after Mohammed Mahmoud Khalil, a prominent Egyptian politician who purchased the 1915 Nile-side mansion with his French wife. The couple were passionate art collectors.

The museum, inaugurated in 1962, nine years after Khalil’s death, houses a collection of 208 items, among them works by Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, and Rodin.

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