“Vase and Flowers”, by Vincent van Gogh, was stolen from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum on Saturday. It was valued at $50 million dollars. The painting is also known as “Poppy Flowers”.
The Egyptian Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, said authorities are on the lookout for the painting, and that Egypt’s air and sea ports have been notified. The painting was cut from the frame sometime this morning. The suspects are unknown. Police are reviewing security tapes and dusting for fingerprints.
Van Gogh paintings have a long history of being stolen. In 1991, 20 paintings were stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. They were found a short time later in an abandoned car.
In 2002, two thieves broke into the same Amsterdam museum and stole two Van Gogh paintings valued at $30 million. Police convicted two men, but the paintings were never recovered.
In 2008, three men in masks stole a Van Gogh painting, along with a Cézanne, a Degas, and a Monet, from a Zurich museum. Total in value of about $163 million.
Even the Van Gogh painting stolen on Saturday had been stolen before, back in 1978. It was recovered two years later.
Vincent van Gogh was born in the Netherlands in 1853. Few appreciated his art during his life. He suffered from anxiety and mental health issues. Van Gogh died from a self inflicted gunshot wound in 1890.
Egyptian Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, has announced that the Van Gogh painting stolen early Saturday has been recovered. Authorities at Cairo International Airport confiscated the painting and have detained two Italians, a man and a woman.