Security cameras and alarms at the museum in Cairo from where a Van Gogh painting valued at more than $50 million was stolen had been out of order "for a long time", an official told AFP. "The cameras had not been working for a long time, and neither had the alarm system," the security official said, adding that no image of the painting was therefore available.
"We don't exactly know how long they had been out of order, but it was a long time. The museum officials said they were looking for spare parts but hadn't managed to find them," by the time the theft took place, he conveyed.
The work identified as Poppy Flowers and valued at more than $50 million, was stolen from the Mahmoud Khalil museum on Saturday, after it was cut out of its frame.
Culture Minister Farouq Hosni said Egyptian security forces later arrested two Italians at Cairo airport trying to smuggle the painting out of the country. But he later backtracked on the claim, publicly admitting that the authorities were still working to retrieve the picture.