$1 million of jewels stolen at Cannes

Festival sponsor Chopard were to lend the jewellery to stars on the red carpet

The Cannes Film Festival has been rocked by the theft of jewels worth $1 million (£650,000), French police have said.

The jewels, provided by the luxury Swiss brand Chopard, who are sponsoring the festival, were to be loaned to stars walking the red carpet.

But in a distinctly cinematic heist, thieves broke into the room of a Chopard employee, opened the safe containing the valuables and made off with them.

The robbery took place at the Novotel hotel in the centre of Cannes.

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Chopard had this year redesigned the famous 'Palme d'Or' award, and creates jewellery sets at the event each year for the annual 'mounting the steps'.

The 66th festival began on Wednesday in the usual hail of flashbulbs, with Baz Luhrmann's opulent adaptation of 'The Great Gatsby' headlining the opening gala.

The robbery, coincidentally, happened on the same day as the premiere of Sofia Coppola's new film 'The Bling Ring', based on the true story of a group of teenagers who used social media to find out when celebrities were attending red carpet events, and then broke into their Hollywood homes.

They stole jewellery, cash and belongings to the tune of $3 million between 2008 and 2009.