An internationally renowned art and antiques fair in London was hit by jewel thieves last week.
Up to £3m of jewellery is missing after a heist at Masterpiece London in Chelsea, which is understood to have taken place sometime between 5pm on 4 July and 9:30am on 5 July. The target was the stand of Geneva-based jewellers, Boghossian, but no arrests have been made at this stage. Detectives from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are investigating the theft and there have been appeals for any witnesses to come forward.
Yesterday (10 July), it emerged that police are searching for two men after examining CCTV footage of the fair. The footage shows two caucasian men in casual dress walk into Masterpiece, approach the Boghossian stand, unlock the cabinet with a key, remove the stolen jewellery and lock the cabinet again.
Masterpiece London opened to the public in the South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in west London on 29 June. Established in 2010, it has been touted as “the most imaginative and glamorous art and antiques fair in the world”. The fair was heavily secured with CCTV cameras and bag checks both upon entry and exit. This year’s event saw a record 44,000 visitors in attendance yet there were apparently no witnesses to the jewel heist.
There is speculation that the burglars were professionals who distracted those onsite in order to make off with the gems. “There were security [staff] everywhere… I am very surprised this has happened. It’s like the Pink Panther films or something”, one Masterpiece attendant told reporters.