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Eleven Egyptian Officials to Be Tried in Van Gogh Theft
People look at the priceless golden mask of the famed King Tutankhamun, watched by security monitoring cameras, unseen, at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Security for Egypt's cultural treasures is under scrutiny after the Aug. 21, 2010 theft of a van Gogh painting from Cairo's Mahmoud Khalil Museum museum revealed some alarming gaps. AP Photo/Nasser Nasser.
CAIRO (AP).- Eleven culture officials from Egypt's government have been formally charged in last month's theft of a Vincent van Gogh painting from a Cairo museum that had no functioning security alarms.

The public prosecutor says he has referred the eleven Culture Ministry officials to trial on charges of negligence and harming state property. Among them is a deputy minister who says he appealed to his boss for funds to make security upgrades before the Aug. 21 theft but received little assistance.

The $50 million painting, titled "Poppy Flower," was stolen in the middle of the day from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum, where investigators found that no alarms and only seven of 43 security cameras were working.

If convicted the suspects could face three years in prison.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.



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