Van Gogh painting stolen in Cairo

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A Van Gogh painting worth $50 million has been stolen from a museum in Cairo, Egypt's minister of culture has said.

The painting, known both as both Poppy Flowers and Vase And Flowers, was "cut from its frame" on Saturday, Farouk Hosni told the AFP agency.

Image caption,
Van Gogh is believed to have painted Poppy Flowers in 1887.

Police are studying security camera footage and questioning employees at the Mahmoud Khalil museum, he added.

The same painting was previously taken from the same museum in 1977, but recovered a decade later.

Security has been tightened at air and sea ports in an effort to stop the painting from being smuggled overseas.

The work, measuring 1ft by 1ft, and depicting yellow and red flowers, is believed to have been painted by Vincent Van Gogh in 1887, three years before his death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Mahmoud Khalil museum was built by Egyptian politician of the same name in the 1930s, and also hosts works by Monet, Renoir and Degas.

Nine paintings of 19th Century Egyptian ruler Mohammed Ibrahim Pasha were stolen from the Muhammad Ali Palace last year, but found 10 days later dumped outside.