Caucher Birkar receives the Fields medal award, math's most prestigious prize, during the International Congress of Mathematicians in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph:( AFP )
The 14 karat gold medal worth around $4,000 went missing after Birkar received it along with three other co-winners.
Caucher Birkar's prestigious Fields medal was stolen soon after he won the award at a ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The 14 karat gold medal worth around $4,000 went missing after Birkar, 40, a Kurdish refugee received it along with three other co-winners.
Security officials at the Riocentro venue, Riocentro, found the empty briefcase in a nearby pavilion. Police reviewed security tapes and identified two potential suspects.
"The International Congress of Mathematicians is profoundly sorry about the disappearance of the briefcase belonging to mathematician Caucher Birkar, which contained his Fields Medal from the ceremony this morning," organizers said in a note.
Birkar who was born in the Kurdish province of Marivan near the Iran-Iraq border took political asylum in Britain and is now a Cambridge professor.
India-born mathematician Akshay Venkatesh, 36, also won the award, along with Italian Alessio Figalli and German Peter Scholze.
In 2014, Maryam Mirzakhani from Iran had become the award's first and so far only female winner. She died in 2017.