Second jewel theft strikes Cannes

The stars of Cannes are rapidly losing their sparkle. A necklace worth at least £1.7 million (Rs 14 crore) and due to be worn by Hollywood beauties like Cameron Diaz has been stolen at the Cannes Film Festival.┬áThe mystery theft is the second to blight the glamorous French Riviera showbusiness spectacular inside a week.

A model presents the Rs 14-crore necklace made by Swiss jeweller De Grisogono during the film fest. Pic/AFP

It happened at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, where the cheapest rooms cost more than £800 (Rs 67,300) a night. Stars including Sharon Stone and Ornella Muti were enjoying a lavish party in the hotel when the thieves struck on Tuesday night. The necklace, by Swiss jeweller De Grisogono and with a list price of £1.7 million, vanished despite 80 security guards being in the building. Its link to the movie world will also add to its value on the black market.

The jewellery house, which was celebrating its anniversary, regularly loans its pieces to celebrities including Diaz and socialite Paris Hilton. “It is actually the first time it has happened in our 20-year history,” reads a company statement, adding that the theft happened “despite the large security measures set in place: over 80 security guards plus police”. “We don’t know exactly what happened, it was one of the most beautiful items we had,” founder Fawaz Gruosi said. “The police are trying to figure out what happened.”

First theft
Last Friday, jewellery worth around £1 million (Rs 8.4 crore) was taken from a room safe in the Cannes Novotel. A woman working for the Swiss jewellery house Chopard was said to have been enjoying a champagne-fuelled night out on the town when a thief struck.

Nobody has yet been arrested in connection with the crime. French police also reported that at least two flats being rented by film executives have been burgled. Cannes is notorious for jewellery thefts, with organised gangs frequently targeting hotels.

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