The city of lights may very well soon be rebranded the city of thieves.
Wealthy women who have long flocked to Paris seeking luxuries like couture clothing, priceless jewels and even a spare macaron or two are suddenly terrified to do so after a string of robberies on the wealthier set.
“There’s no question in my mind that these robberies will play heavily on the mind of shoppers and travelers from the Gulf,” Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, a Saudi Arabian princess who is editor of Vogue Arabia, told the Times “We’ve supported the city, and its luxury houses, for a long time. But people will think twice about visiting, for sure.”
Among the crimes committed were, of course, Kim Kardashian’s dramatic robbery, in which she was tied up while her jewelry was stolen; the teargassing of Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat and her boyfriend in November in a failed robbery attempt; and the robbery of two Qatari sisters of $5.3 million worth of valuables.
The city has responded to these crimes by increasing security measures (at couture fashion week right now, for instance, all visitors are subject to a security screening), and also by pointing out that overall, violent robberies in the city have fallen by 28 percent in the past three years.
As the deputy mayor in charge of tourism told the Times, “Incidents sometimes make headlines, for example about Kim Kardashian, but these acts are very rare and exist in all the cities of the world,”
True, but it still might be wise not to flash your diamonds around town. [NYT]