Eleven Egyptian officials jailed for stolen Van Gogh's painting

41991.jpegAn Egyptian court convicted 11 officials from the Culture Ministry, including the deputy minister, of gross negligence and incompetence in the theft of a Vincent Van Gogh painting that embarrassed the government.

The defendants received sentences of three years in prison and will have to post a bond of $1,800 to stay out of prison until the appeal.

The "Poppy Flower," valued at $50 million was stolen in broad daylight from Cairo's Mahmoud Khalil Museum. Subsequent investigations revealed that no alarms and only seven of 43 security cameras were working, according to The Associated Press.

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.

A hunt for the artwork is still ongoing. A culture ministry official said on Wednesday that the verdict is part of the country's efforts to show that justice should be had "no matter what," Bikya Masr reports.


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