Thieves outsmarted 80 security guards in an exclusive French Riviera hotel and made off with a necklace that creators say is worth a staggering €2 million ($2.7 million Cdn) — in the second such jewelry heist during this year's Cannes Film Festival.
The De Grisogono jewelry house said Thursday that the necklace was stolen after a party for festival attendees at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc on Tuesday night. In a statement, it said the theft occurred "despite the large security measures set in place: over 80 security guards plus police."
A police official said Thursday that the "high value" necklace was stolen overnight from the luxurious resort town of Cap d'Antibes. She gave no further details and spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak on the record about an ongoing investigation.
Cap d'Antibes is just down the coast from Cannes and even more exclusive. Its Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc often plays host to events during the festival, including Tuesday night's party, which included stars such as Sharon Stone, Ornella Mutti and others. The hotel hosted another party on Thursday night.
De Grisogono director Fawaz Gruosi said in the statement, "it is actually the first time it has happened in our 20-year history."
Last week, thieves stole about $1 million worth of jewels after ripping a safe from the wall of a hotel room in Cannes. The jewelry was taken from the Novotel room of an employee of Chopard, the Swiss-based watch and jewelry maker that has loaned bling to A-list stars walking the red carpet at the film festival.
Meanwhile, the team from jewelry firm Swarovski, which is also providing baubles for stars to wear on the red carpet, isn't too worried about its inventory.
"Our position is not as high as Chopard," said Xavier Hottinger, a rep for Swarovski on Thursday. The jewels he deals with just "look like precious stones."
Swarovski has been lending, and in some cases gifting, celebrities some of its famous crystal designs at the festival for more than a decade. Stars, or their stylists, have come into the famed crystal jeweler's luxurious white hotel suite during the festival to borrow items, including rings, earrings, necklaces and clutches.
This week, some of the stars who wore Swarovski included Frieda Pinto and Milla Jovovich. Some of the jewelry is still quite expensive: the dark gray earrings Jovovich wore on one red carpet cost about $331,000, said Hottinger. But that's nothing compared with the diamond jewelry that Chopard stocks.
"To steal $1 million worth of Swarovski products, you would have to steal a trunk," he said.
Hottinger said Swarovski felt safe at the heavily guarded Martinez hotel, which is on the Croisette, the main strip in Cannes for the festival and where several stars are staying. It's also where Chopard has its official suite, which was not burglarized.
Unlike other jewelry brands who lend for red-carpet events, Swarovski doesn't use bodyguards to monitor the stars who borrow their items, which likely makes them feel more comfortable, Hottinger said.
"They have freedom, so they can go to a party without worrying," he said.