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.