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Egypt Deputy Minister, Mohsen Shalaan, Detained Over Van Gogh Theft
A guard walks at the gate of Mahmud Khalil Modern Art Museum in Cairo, Egypt, August 23, 2010. A Van Gogh painting worth an estimated $55 million was stolen from a Cairo museum on Saturday and after reporting it had been recovered, the state news agency quoted a minister as saying it was still missing. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih.
CAIRO (AP).- Egypt's state news agency reports the country's top prosecutor has ordered a four-day detention of the deputy culture minister over the theft of a Vincent van Gogh painting.

Thieves made off with the canvas, known by the titles of "Poppy Flowers" and "Vase with Flowers," on Saturday from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo. None of the museum's alarms and only seven of 43 surveillance cameras were working at the time of the robbery.

On Monday, General Prosecutor Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud ordered the four-day-detention of Deputy Culture Minister Mohsen Shalaan, along with four security guards. He accused them of neglect and professional delinquency, according to Egypt's Middle East News Agency.

No formal charges have been filed.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.


Egypt Bars Officials from Travel Over Art Theft: Report/B>

CAIRO (REUTERS).-Egypt's general prosecutor has blocked nine Culture Ministry officials from travel as part of an inquiry into the theft of a Van Gogh painting worth an estimated $55 million, a state-owned newspaper said on Monday.

The painting, known as "Poppy Flower" according to an Arabic statement, was stolen on Saturday from Cairo's Mahmoud Khalil Museum, home to one of the Middle East's finest collections of 19th- and 20th-century art.

Fine arts specialist Ezz el-Din Naguib, speaking in a programme on state television, said the painting had also been stolen in the late 1970s but was recovered 10 years later.

An early investigation at the museum showed "flagrant shortcomings" in security with only 7 of 43 security cameras functioning properly, the state daily al-Ahram reported, without giving further details.

Officials were not immediately available to comment.

The museum houses works assembled by Mohammed Mahmoud Khalil, a politician who died in 1953, including paintings by Gauguin, Monet, Manet and Renoir, as well as the Dutch post-Impressionist master Van Gogh.

(Reporting by Alexander Dziadosz and Marwa Awad)

Van Gogh | Mahmoud Khalil Museum | Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud | Mohsen Shalaan |


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