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Jewels stolen in Cannes, Chopard says not for stars

A giant canvas of the official poster of the 66th Cannes Film Festival featuring Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, photographed during the sh
A giant canvas of the official poster of the 66th Cannes Film Festival featuring Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, photographed during the sh

CANNES, France (Reuters) - Chopard jewelry worth $1.4 million intended to adorn movie stars at the Cannes film festival has been stolen, a police source said on Friday, but the company said the value had been exaggerated and the items were not for actresses to use.

According to the source, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to discuss the case with the press, the jewels were in the safe of a room rented by an employee of the luxury jeweler, which is also a Cannes sponsor.

"The jeweler hasn't yet furnished details of what exactly was stolen," the source said.

Later in the day, Chopard said in a statement that the value of the jewels stolen was not as high as had been reported and that they were not "part of the collection destined to be used by actresses" during the festival.

The Cannes film festival, the world's largest, draws thousands of movie stars, industry executives and journalists to the fabled resort on the Mediterranean.

Jewelers and fashion houses use the annual event as a promotional showcase, lending gowns and accessories to celebrities who are photographed on the famed red carpet and at parties along the palm-lined Croisette waterfront.

Since the festival opened on Wednesday, pop star Lana Del Rey and former supermodel Cindy Crawford, among others, have chosen Chopard jewels for their red carpet appearances.

The incident at the Suite Novotel four-star hotel in central Cannes - opposite a municipal police station - took place on the night of Thursday to Friday.

The entire safe was removed from the wall and taken from the room, where someone entered without either forcing the door or using the magnetic key card, the police source said.

The hotel declined to comment.

In an ironic twist, Sofia Coppola's new movie "The Bling Ring", about a gang of celebrity-obsessed teens who break into stars' homes to steal their possessions, premiered at Cannes on Thursday evening.

(Reporting by Matthias Galante; Writing by Alexandria Sage and Brian Love; editing by Mike Collett-White)

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