Cannes loses sparkle after €300,000 hotel jewel raid

Robbers make off with Chopard haul intended for famous necks

Robbers made off with a haul of jewels worth more than €300,000 (£250,000) today during a raid on a Cannes hotel, hours after the screening of a film about a gang who stole luxury goods and cash from the rich and famous.

The jewels were taken at around 5am from a room in the Hotel Novotel on the Boulevard Carnot, close to theseafront and the Palais des Festivals, where screenings for the 66th Cannes Film Festival take place.

The pieces were stolen from the hotel room of an employee of the luxury Swiss jeweller Chopard, which also makes the Palme d’Or and other trophies for the festival.

A safe containing the jewels was cut free by an intruder and carried off, according to a spokesman for the Police Judiciare in Nice. Officers are sifting through security camera footage from around the hotel for clues.

Commander Bernard Mascarelli said: “Apparently this [hotel guest] was someone who was targeted because it wasn’t someone who had been seeking attention...There must have been either an inside complicity, or people who were in contact with this person and knew that the person had jewels.” He added that it seemed “pretty unlikely” the theft had been the work of one person.

The police said the value of the stolen goods was more than $1m – a figure disputed by Chopard. The company confirmed the theft in a brief statement, saying: “An employee of Chopard jewellery house has been the victim of a robbery last night in their hotel room while not on premises.” It added that the “value of the pieces stolen is far lower than those circulating in the media”.

The company added  that, despite reports to the contrary, the jewels were “not part of the collection that are worn by actresses during the Cannes Film Festival” .

The British supermodel Cara Delevingne and actresses Julianne Moore and Freida Pinto all wore Chopard jewellery at the opening of this year’s film festival.

The heist took place just hours after the premiere of The Bling Ring, a true story of teenagers who broke into homes of the rich and famous in Los Angeles and made off with a haul of nearly $3m. The film, directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Emma Watson, earned praise from critics after its debut on Thursday.

Chopard has made the Palme d’Or for the festival since 1998. This year’s trophy, which is worth more than €20,000 (£17,000), was not in the stolen safe, festival organisers said.

The company is a byword for opulence, and its creations can often be seen adorning actresses’ ears, necks and arms at awards ceremonies and premieres. The winner of this year’s best actress Oscar, Jennifer Lawrence, wore its jewels, as did Hilary Swank, Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet.

When Chopard began sponsoring Cannes, it had a team of four working on the Riviera. Now it has 40 staff there ensuring that its jewellery makes its way onto the biggest names at the festival.

In an interview with the London Evening Standard on Wednesday, Caroline Scheufele, Chopard’s co-vice president, said: “Cannes is such an important moment in an actress’s career. They have to look their best. We just try to help a bit.”

It is not the first time that a major theft has taken place in Cannes. In 2009, robbers wearing Hawaiian shirts held up a Cartier boutique, making off on motorbikes with jewels, watches and luxury goods worth almost £13m.

'It's a bit like Bradford': New discovery’s verdict on Cannes

When two working-class lads from Bradford auditioned for roles in a film, they could never have believed that they would end up bringing it to the French Riviera and Europe’s glitziest film festival.

Conner Chapman, 13, and Shaun Thomas, 15, are among the festival’s discoveries for their performances in The Selfish Giant, directed by Clio Barnard, which critics have called  “astonishing”. They said yesterday they never dreamed they could make it to Cannes.

Conner, pictured in a scene from the film, said: “I always used to watch famous people and think, ‘I want to do that, but I probably won’t be able to’. I won’t be able to stop smiling when we go to the movie tonight.”

Shaun added: “It’s like wanting to be a footballer. You don’t think it can happen but it’s about getting the right opportunities, isn’t it?”

He had never been to France before, while Conner had visited once to watch Bradford Bulls play a match.

The boys arrived in Cannes on Thursday night, ahead of the film’s official screening as part of the Directors’ Fortnight, only to be met with English weather. “We were looking forward to it,” Shaun said. “But when we got here it was pouring with rain. It wasn’t much better than Bradford.”

The film is based on the Oscar Wilde story of the same name. Conner plays Arbor, who is excluded from school along with his friend Swifty, played by Shaun. They end up collecting metal for a scrap dealer, which causes tensions and ultimately leads to a tragic turn of events that changes their lives.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam