Lollobrigida jewels fetch $4.9 million, part for stem cells

Actress to donate money for research

Lollobrigida jewels fetch $4.9 million, part for stem cells

Geneva, May 15 - Part of the 4.9 million dollars from the auction of jewels belonging to Italian diva and 1950s sex symbol Gina Lollobrigida will be going to stem cell research, the actress said in a statement Wednesday. A Sotheby's auction record was set on Tuesday in Geneva for a pair of diamond and pearl earrings that sold for 2.29 million francs ($2.37 million), beating the $1.98 million figure set in 2011 by a similar pair of earrings belonging to Elizabeth Taylor. In total, the entire Bulgari collection sold by Lollobrigida brought in 4.9 million dollars. "I am happy that my jewels can contribute to a good cause," Lollobrigida said. Lollobrigida, 85, started to collect Bulgari jewelry in the 1950s and 1960s, when her acting career took off. However she now devotes most of her time to sculpture "and a sculptor does not need jewels", she said when she announced her intention to sell in March. In addition the sale would allow her "to support a cause that is particularly close to my heart: stem cell research". Iconic sex symbol of the 1950s, Lollobrigida played opposite the likes of Hollywood stars Humphrey Bogart, Rock Hudson, Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and Frank Sinatra. She largely left acting in the 1980s to turn her attention to photojournalism, sculpting and humanitarian work.

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