Thieves broke into a central Cairo Museum and stole a painting by Vincent Van Gogh 1888 titled “Vase with Flowers ” or “Poppy Flowers”. The painting is valued at $50 million dollars and was recovered a few hours later.
According to Farouk Hosni, Egypt’s minister of culture the painting was recovered by security officials at Cairo airport, confiscated from a man and a woman both Italians. The two were attempting to leave the country but authorities would not release any information as to their destination.
The Vincent Van Gogh 1888 painting was stolen from Cairo’s Mahmoud Khalil museum. This was the second time the painting was stolen from the same museum. It was in 1978 that the painting was stolen and then recovered two years later from a location in Kuwait. Officials never disclosed where that location was.
There was never any further details about the original theft other than an announcement from the Interior Minister that three Egyptians involved in the hijacking of the painting was arrested and in custody. No details involving any charges or if the men were brought to trial ever were revealed.
Van Gogh was born in Zundert, Netherlands in March, 1853 and is known as a post-Impressionists whose works were quite influential in the 20th Century. He never was awarded the fame and honor due him during his lifetime. It was not until he died in July, 1890 at age 37 in France that his popularity and appreciation of his work flourished.
Van Gogh suffered from mental illness and anxiety most of his adult life. He eventually committed suicide by shooting himself. Today, he is remembered as one of the world’s greatest historical painters and contributors to modern art.
Vincent Van Gogh 1888 work “Vase with Flowers” was one of many other works including The Potato Eater, The Starry Night, and Sunflowers.