Jewel heist in Cannes follows plot of film shown at Festival | News | DW | 17.05.2013
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Jewel heist in Cannes follows plot of film shown at Festival

French police say that jewelry to be loaned to stars at the Cannes Film Festival has been stolen from a hotel room. The festival had shown a film with a similar story line just hours before.

Jewelry worth more than $1m (777,000 euros) was taken from the the Novotel Hotel room of an American employee of Swiss jewellers Chopard, who sponsor the festival.

Police spokesman, Commander Bernard Mascarelli, said on Friday that thieves ripped the safe out of the wall of the hotel room overnight.

The jewels were to be loaned to celebrities for photo opportunities such as appearances on the red-carpet at the Festival Palace, galas and parties.

The heist happened shortly after the festival showed Sofia Coppola's film "The Bling Ring" about high-school students who find out when celebrities are attending red-carpet events so they can break into their homes and steal clothes, bags and shoes.

Actresses at this year's festival who have worn Chopard jewellery include Julianne Moore, Lana Del Rey, Cindy Crawford, China's Fan Bingbing and Spain's Blanca Suarez.

The jeweller also redesigned the Palme d'Or trophy, the festival's top prize. An official linked to the festival said the trophy was safe. The Palme d'Or features 118 grammes of yellow gold, with a value of more than 20,000 euros, set in a base of rock crystal.

The history of the trophy dates back to 1955. That same year Alfred Hitchcock made "To Catch A Thief," a film about a gentleman thief, played by Cary Grant, and jewel heists on the French Riviera. The film also starred Grace Kelly, later Princess Grace of Monaco.

Last year, thieves stole four watches worth 400,000 euros belonging to football stars Souleymane Diawara and Mamadou Niang who were in Cannes for the festival.

Police are looking at footage from the city's security cameras to hunt for clues of this year's theft.

jm/dr (AP, AFP)