Diamond-studded tennis racket stolen
19 June 2006
AMSTERDAM — Thieves stole a replica of Belgium's famous Diamond Award tennis racket in Amsterdam on Sunday.
The racket, studded with 1,700 diamonds, is the ultimate prize for the tennis player who wins the Diamond Games in Antwerp three times in five years.
The original racket is valued at EUR 1 million. The replica is insured but it has not been announced how much it is worth.
The replica, owned by Coster Diamonds, was displayed at a jewellery exhibition in Amsterdam at the weekend. Coster staff members were taking it from the Amstel Hotel to a waiting car when they were distracted by the thieves, news agency ANP reported.
"Two men said that a woman was
lying under a car," Director Kees Noomen of Coster Diamonds said on Monday. "When we went to look, another man went away with the racket," he said. The replica was lying under the back seat of the car.
Two security guards from the hotel pursued the thieves - three men and a woman - but they got away.
Coster Diamonds formally file a report on the theft with the police on Monday.
The collector's item was on display for three days at the hotel during the exhibition by the most prominent Dutch and Belgian jewellers and goldsmiths.
Coster Diamonds made the replica of the original for the new diamond museum opening in Amsterdam in September. "We have been working on this for six months," Noomen said. The company has started work on a replacement racket.
Venus Williams was on her way to claiming the original after winning the Antwerp tennis competition in 2002 and 2003. But victory by French tennis star Amelie Mauresmo in 2005 ensured the diamond racket will stay in Antwerp for the moment.
The only player to win the trophy was Ivan Lendl.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]