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$1 million in Chopard jewels stolen from Cannes hotel, police say

By Saskya Vandoorne and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
May 19, 2013 -- Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The thieves removed the safe containing the jewels from a hotel room, police say
  • The stolen jewelry was worth more than $1 million, police say
  • The Cannes Film Festival brings together the rich and famous from around the world
  • The stolen jewels were from the Swiss firm Chopard, an official sponsor of the festival

(CNN) -- Jewels worth more than $1 million were stolen from a hotel in Cannes, France, police in the nearby city of Nice said Friday.

The theft of the jewels, from the Swiss firm Chopard, came Thursday night, on the second day of the renowned Cannes Film Festival, which opened Wednesday and runs through May 26.

The annual Cannes festival brings together the rich and famous from around the world for movie screenings and glittering parties.

More chaos at Cannes: Shots fired

Commandant Bernard Mascarelli, of the Nice police, said the jewelry was stolen from a safe in the Suite Novotel hotel on Boulevard Carnot in Cannes.

Who stole jewels from Cannes?

A Chopard employee was staying in the room but left it to go to dinner from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. local time, he said. She returned to discover the safe containing the jewels was missing.

The whole safe had been unscrewed from the inside of the hotel room and carried out, Mascarelli said.

Police are now scouring security camera footage from the streets around the hotel and citywide for clues, he said.

Drag queens, fake beards and chocolates: Notable diamond heists

No detailed description has yet been given of the stolen jewels.

Chopard, which is an official sponsor of the festival, has provided the Palme d'Or trophy awarded to the director of the best feature film for the past 15 years. The trophy features a 24-carat gold palm attached to a piece of cut crystal.

The firm is promoting its Red Carpet Collection 2013 at this year's festival, with a number of actresses sporting its gems.

The collection is "a world of unparalleled glamour and craftsmanship, where originality, creativity, and technical mastery are pushed to their ultimate limits," according to Chopard's Facebook page.

By coincidence, the theft occurred on the same day as the screening in Cannes of Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring," which stars Harry Potter actress Emma Watson as a member of a thieving group of teens who steal from the famous.

The movie isn't in competition but was selected to open the "Un Certain Regard" portion of the film festival.

CNN's Joseph Netto contributed to this report.

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