Gary Susman
May 28, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

A lot of men would probably like to relieve Monica Bellucci of her clothing, but one man actually did, and he was promptly arrested. During the Cannes Film Festival last week, the $180,000 golden gown Bellucci wore when she starred as Cleopatra in a recent film was stolen. Now, Reuters reports, police say they’ve arrested the culprit, a waiter at the Martinez Hotel in Cannes, where the dress had been on display. The thief, who had only recently started working at the hotel, confessed to stealing the costume as a gift to impress two girls he had met hours earlier, police said.

Bellucci attended Cannes to serve as the hostess of the festival, as well as to promote the worldwide opening of ”The Matrix Reloaded,” where she plays the chilly Persephone. Last year, the Italian actress played the Egyptian queen in the French comic-book adventure ”Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra.” The dress, spun from gold thread, has been returned to the costume firm that owns it, Reuters reports, but it has been badly damaged. Can’t help thinking that if the waiter had tried to steal the costumes of Bellucci’s ”Matrix” costars Carrie-Anne Moss or Jada Pinkett Smith, the actresses would have kicked his ass.

You May Like