$1 million in jewelry stolen at Cannes film festival

Korina Lopez, USA TODAY

This weekend, stars may sport a little less bling and the parties could be a little less sparkly.

According to France 24 of ITV news, thieves broke in the hotel room of a Chopard employee, where the jewels were being kept in a safe in a hotel room. The robbers ripped the safe off the wall and left with everything in it, about $1 million in jewels, which were meant to loaned out to stars during the festival.

Ironically, the jewels were stolen around 2:30 a.m., a few hours after the screening of Sofia Coppola's new film, The Bling Ring, the true story about a group of teens who broke into celebrity homes to steal their valuables.

"Numbers have been put forward that we're still trying to verify, but the figure of $1 million ... we're in that range," said Cmdr. Bernard Mascarelli, a spokesman for Nice.

"Apparently this (hotel guest) was someone who was targeted because it wasn't someone who had been seeking attention," he told the Associated Press. "There must have been either an inside complicity, or people who were in contact with this person and knew that the person had jewels."

Chopard, one of the sponsors of the film festival, also manufactures the crystal and gold Palme d'Or trophy and has put the precious item in a safe, undisclosed location.
Chopard representatives in Cannes would not comment on the jewelry theft.

This isn't the first time that there has been a robbery at Cannes. In 2009, a lone gunman walked into a Chopard jewelry store and made off with $8 million worth of bling. Also in 2009, a group of armed men wearing Hawaiian shirts and masks riding motorbikes nabbed $21 million in jewelry from a Cartier store in Paris.

Bulgari also lends significant jewels to actresses for appearances on the red carpet at the film festival. Next week, Jessica Chastain will wear jewelry from Elizabeth Taylor's collection at a screening of the restored Cleopatra. No changes are being made for the event, according to a spokesman.

Contributing: Bryan Alexander in Cannes


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