The value of jewellery and diamonds stolen from the world-famous Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes on Sunday has rocketed to a staggering £89 million, far more than the £35 million estimated shortly after the theft.
The revaluation makes the weekend raid, perpetrated by an armed man who burst through the doors wearing a mask, one of the biggest robberies of precious jewels in European history.
According to the Associated Press, French prosecutor Philippe Vique said the valuation of the stolen jewels, which were on display in an exhibition for the prestigious Leviev diamond house at the hotel, was re-evaluated after an inventory on Monday.
Police focus has now fallen on the bizarrely-named Pink Panther network, a criminal gang known to have carried out a series of similar thefts throughout Europe, one of whose members escaped from a prison in Switzerland last week.
The hotel, which attracts the rich and famous from around the world, is located on the famous Promenade de la Croisette on the seafront of the Riviera resort.
Sunday's robbery is the latest in a spate of highly publicised thefts to blight the world-famous town. During the annual film festival this summer, thieves stole a 1 million Euro cache of gems from a safe in the wall of room in the Novatel. This was followed by the theft of the De Grisogono necklace, estimated to be worth more than 1.8 million Euros from an exclusive hotel in the resort.
Ironically, the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel provided one of the backdrops for Alfred Hitchcock's classic fifties thriller "To Catch A Thief", starring Carey Grant and Grace Kelly.Suggest a correction