Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida sells her jewels for charity
By Belinda Goldsmith
LONDON (Reuters) - Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida, one of the leading sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s, is selling some of her diamond jewelry to raise money for stem cell research, saying now is the time to give back for the fortunate life she has had.
After a humble, rural upbringing, Lollobrigida played opposite Hollywood stars such as Humphrey Bogart, Rock Hudson, Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and Frank Sinatra.
As her career took off in France, Italy and Hollywood, Lollobrigida said she started to collect jewels from Bulgari, always buying them herself and enjoying the purchasing power of her hard work.
Now 85 and having largely left acting in the 1980s for photojournalism, humanitarian work and sculpting, Lollobrigida said it was time to put the jewelry to good use.
Some 22 jewels from her collection will be auctioned by Sotheby's in Geneva on May 14 after going on display in London, New York and Rome.
Lollobrigida said she will donate the proceeds to a fund to set up a hospital for stem cell research.
"This will not be the end of the jewelry but it will be something that does good, helping a cause that is very important to me," she told Reuters in a phone interview from Rome. "I want to leave a souvenir of my life."
The pieces include a pair of pearl and diamond pendant earrings made in 1964 that are expected to sell for up to $1 million, a 19.03 carat diamond ring of around the same price mark and a 1954 diamond necklace/bracelet combination worth up to $500,000. Continued...