Thieves Abscond With $3.9 Million in Jewelry From London’s Masterpiece Art Fair

The jewels were taken from the Boghossian booth at the fair.

View of Geneva-based Boghossian's booth at London's Masterpiece Art Fair. Screen shot via Masterpiece London 2017.

In a stealthy heist reminiscent of a Hollywood movie, jewels valued at up to £3 million ($3.9 million) were stolen from the booth of Geneva-based jeweler Boghossian at London’s Masterpiece Art Fair.

Officials believe the theft took place overnight between 5 p.m. on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, according to the Evening Standard. But given that the fair didn’t close until 9 p.m. on Tuesday night, police are not ruling out the possibility that the theft took place while the fair was open to the public. Investigators believe that the theft was the work of professionals who may have employed distraction techniques to steal the precious stones. There were no witnesses.

Boghossian did not immediately respond to artnet News’s request for comment.

Masterpiece focuses on cross-collecting and features works from antiquity to contemporary art. Photo: Masterpiece, London.

The fair which bills itself as “the leading international event for viewing and buying the finest works of art, from antiquity to the present day” is guarded by a round-the-clock security detail.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, an unidentified Masterpiece employee said, “There were loads of guys in suits protecting the exhibition. I am amazed.” Another employee added, “I am very surprised this has happened. It’s like the Pink Panther films or something.”

Meanwhile, according to the Telegraph, an employee of neighboring booth Alan Wheatley Art said the gallery suffered the same fate at Masterpiece in 2015. “We had an item stolen from the same fair two years ago,” the staffer said. “I think the security is very good, but you can only do your best. If someone wants to take something, they will do it.”

Masterpiece did not immediately respond to artnet News’s request for comment but told the Standard that it was “fully cooperating with the police investigation,” adding “we take the security of the fair and the objects exhibited very seriously.”


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