Security lapses were to blame for the theft of a Vincent van Gogh painting from a Cairo museum, Egypt’s top prosecutor said at the weekend.
According to prosecutor general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud, none of the alarms and only seven out of 43 surveillance cameras at the museum were functioning on Friday when the painting was stolen, reports NRC.
The painting, known both as Poppy Flowers and Vase with Flowers, is valued at €43 mln. It was originally reported to have been recovered from an Italian couple at Cairo airport hours after the theft.
On Sunday, Egypt’s culture ministry backtracked, saying the statement was based on false information and the couple had been released, reports the paper.
The search for the painting continues.
It is the second time this painting has been stolen from the Khalil museum. Thieves made off with it in 1978, and authorities recovered it two years later at an undisclosed location in Kuwait.
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