Egypt’s culture minister has retracted his claim that police had recovered a painting by Dutch master Vincent van Gogh that was stolen from a Cairo museum.
Farouk Hosni said on Saturday that an Italian couple had been stopped with the painting at Cairo airport hours after it was lifted from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum in the Egyptian capital.
He later went on national television to say that his statement was based on inaccurate information and that the search for the canvas continues.
No information has been given on how the confusion arose.
The missing painting, known as ‘Poppy Flowers’, is said to be worth 43 million euros.
It is the second time this painting by the postimpressionist has been stolen from the Khalil museum.
Thieves first made off with the canvas in 1978, before authorities recovered it two years later at an undisclosed location in Kuwait.
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