An armed man held up a jewellery exhibition in the French Riviera resort of Cannes on Sunday, making away with jewels estimated to be worth about 40 million euros ($53 million), according to investigators.
Authorities said the hold-up took place in broad daylight at the Carlton Hotel on the promenade in Cannes, famous for its annual film festival that attracts a glittering array of celebrities.
The lone gunman managed to evade security and escape with a briefcase containing the valuable jewellery.
The brazen heist was the biggest in recent years in France. In 2008, three men stole almost every piece on display at a jewellery exhibition in Paris with an estimated value of 85 million euros.
The management at the Carlton Hotel declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
During the film festival in May, thieves stole jewellery worth $1.4 million that was due to be loaned to movie stars from a local hotel in a pre-dawn heist.
That robbery took place in the hotel room of an American woman employee of Swiss jeweller Chopard while she was out for the evening, police said.
A strongbox containing jewels was ripped out of the wardrobe and carried off, they said.
In a second theft during the festival, robbers made off with a diamond necklace with an estimated value of $1.9 million.
At least two apartments rented by film executives were also burgled during the festival, with thieves taking cash, jewellery and other personal items.