Vincent Van Gogh’s Poppy Flowers stolen from museum

By Nehal El-Sherif

Cairo (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 on Saturday.

In 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


In 1978, the same painting was stolen, but was returned shortly

afterwards. One year later, a duplicate was sold for 43 million

dollars 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.