Tuesday, October 19, 2010

11 sentenced over museum theft

Bikya Masr (Joseph Mayton)

An Egyptian court late Tuesday sentenced 11 culture ministry officials to three years in prison over their negligence in the theft of a Vincent van Gogh painting from a Cairo museum. Despite the guilty verdict, all have been given bail pending an appeal.

Among those sentenced is Deputy Culture Minister Mohsen Shaalan and the museum’s director.

Shalaan, the deputy culture minister responsible for the fine arts department, is the most prominent official to face charges in the robbery of the painting, Poppy Flowers that was stolen in August from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo and estimated to be worth some $50 million.

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