HOT WEATHER HEIST: Thieves quietly swooped on London’s Masterpiece Art Fair, an annual event that takes place in Chelsea, stealing jewels worth 3 million pounds, or $3.9 million, from the Geneva-based jeweler Boghossian.
The ticketed fair, which showcases high-end art, antiques and jewelry, has round-the-clock security. It takes place every year at Royal Hospital Chelsea and draws up to 44,000 visitors. According to police, the thieves struck between 5 p.m. on Tuesday and 9 a.m. on Wednesday.
The fair ran from June 29 to July 5, and was open every day from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., which meant that the robbery could have taken place while the fair was still open for business. The thieves were thought to have used distraction techniques to carry out the robbery.
The fair said it is “fully cooperating with the police,” who have been examining the CCTV camera in the space. However, no arrests have been made and there were no witnesses to the theft. Guests are checked on their way into the fair, and on the way out. All bags are opened and examined upon arrival and as people are exiting.
Masterpiece is known for drawing top collectors from across the world and hosting exhibitors across a range of sectors, from fine art, to wine, sculpture, antiques, furniture and jewelry. Among the jewelers exhibiting at the fair this year were Van Cleef & Arpels, Wallace Chan, Theo Fennell and Verdura.
This year, Burberry also participated in the fair for the first time, with an exhibition of 78 limited-edition couture capes, which were first presented during the label’s February show at London Fashion Week.
According to its exhibitor page, the Boghossian family have been working with pearls and precious stones for four generations, and in 2007 they launched Bogh-Art in 2007, a jewelry collection using innovative techniques.
They use the ancient technique of incrustation, which originated in the Egypt. Each stone is cut and shaped, then set directly into the next one to create contrast and colour. They also work with titanium and carbon fiber to give the jewels lightness and transparency. In 2008, Bogh-Art created its own laboratory in 2008, to develop and improve production techniques.