IT SOUNDS like an elaborate plotline from one of its many critically acclaimed films.
But the Cannes film festival was hit by a second jewellery heist on Thursday after a diamond necklace worth €2 million (£1.7 million) disappeared during a star-studded party.
Fawaz Gruosi, founder of upmarket jeweller De Grisogono, said the necklace was part of the company’s 20th anniversary collection paraded by 20 models at the glitzy event at the Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes outside Cannes on Tuesday night.
Sharon Stone and Paris Hilton were among the guests in attendance. Mr Gruosi said 80 bodyguards, local police, hotel security, and De Grisogono staff had been on duty, but when the final check was conducted at the end of the night the long-stranded diamond necklace was missing.
“We don’t know exactly what happened – it was one of the most beautiful items we had,” Mr Gruosi said in a television interview. “The police are trying to figure out what happened.”
A Cannes police source said authorities were investigating whether it was a theft, a problem of inventory or a loss.
Another Swiss jeweller, Chopard, had gems worth £90m, stolen in the first week of the 12-day festival on the glamorous French Riviera, which attracts thousands of actors, filmmakers and journalists. Police said the Chopard jewellery, intended to adorn movie stars at the festival, had been in the safe of a room at the Suite Novotel four-star hotel in central Cannes, which had been rented by an employee of the jeweller.
The entire safe was removed from the wall and taken from the room during the night of May 16. Someone entered without either forcing the door or using the magnetic key card.
The hotel rooms of two other film executives have also been broken into and burgled.
A police spokesman said: “Thieves see the festival as rich pickings. We urge everyone to secure their jewellery properly and not flaunt it in the streets.”
A spokesman for Chopard later played down the report, saying the value had been exaggerated and the items were not for actresses to wear.
Jewellers and designers use the world’s largest film festival as a promotional showcase, lending gowns and accessories to celebrities who are photographed on the famed red carpet.
Jewellery stores that line Cannes’s seafront Croisette boulevard are regularly targeted by armed robbers.
Three years ago a gang stole jewellery worth £13m from the Cartier store in an audacious daylight raid.
The festival enters its final day today.