Egyptian officials charged over Van Gogh theft

Eleven Egyptian government culture officials 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 said he had referred the 11 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 August 21 theft but received little assistance.

The $50m (€38m) 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.

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