Search continues for Van Gogh painting stolen in Egypt
A search continued on Sunday for a valuable Vincent Van Gogh painting stolen from a museum in Cairo, despite earlier reports that it had been recovered, dpa reported.
Hours after it was reported missing on Saturday, Egypt's Minister of Culture Farouq Hosni said the 50-million-dollar Poppy Flowers had been recovered by police who stopped two Italians at Cairo airport, moments before they were due to leave the country.
Later, Hosni announced that the information was "inaccurate".
"Despite receiving confirmation that the painting was recovered, the information was inaccurate and procedures continue to determine how the painting was stolen and how to recover it," Hosni said.
The same painting was stolen in 1978 but returned shortly afterward. One year later, a duplicate was sold for 43 million dollars in London, sparking a debate in Egypt about whether the returned painting was, in fact, a fake.
The painting was stolen from a museum named after Mohammed Mahmoud Khalil, an Egyptian politician who purchased the building in 1915 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.