The jewels stolen at a hotel in the southern French
city of Cannes at the weekend were worth an estimated 136 million
dollars, making the heist the biggest in French history, prosecutors
An armed man, who had concealed his face with cloth, snatched the jewels from an exhibition at the ritzy Carlton Hotel on Sunday morning.
Media reports had estimated the value of the jewels at around 53 million dollars but the prosecutor's office in the nearby town of Grasse declared the losses to be over twice that amount.
The scale of the heist in on a par with the 2003 hit on the Antwerp Diamond Centre in Belgium, where robbers took jewels worth 100 million euros (now worth 140 million euros). That robbery had been considered the world's biggest until now.
The Carlton is one of Cannes' most prestigious hotels, located on the seaside Promenade de la Croisette on the French Riviera. It is a favourite of film stars attending the annual Cannes Film Festival.
Ironically, it was one of the settings for Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1955 thriller To Catch a Thief.
The heist is the third in Cannes-area hotels this year to draw international attention.
Chopard jewellery worth up to 1.5 million dollars was taken from a hotel room during the film festival in May. A few days later, a diamond necklace worth 2.6 million dollars by Swiss jeweller De Grisogono disappeared from a celebrity party at a hotel in nearby Antibes, where it had been on display.
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