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10-03-08 - La Dolce Vita

Antwerp, Belgium, March 4, 2008 - Smouldering and sexy, Sophia Loren and Monica Bellucci are two stars of the Italian cinema who have mesmerised different generations of movie goers the world over, creating and recreating the icon of the sultry prima donna. Both have conducted long love affairs with diamond jewellery, and several of their choice pieces will be shown to the public as part of the Diamond Divas exhibition, which opens on April 11 at the Province of Antwerp’s Diamond Museum.

Sophia Loren spent much of her childhood in a poor neighbourhood of Naples, dreaming of stardom. Her beauty and talent propelled her forward, and by the 1950s and 1960s she was a household name in America. Much of best work was done at home in Italy, with directors like Vittorio De Sica, and her favourite co-star, the legendary Marcello Mastroianni. In America Ms. Loren worked alongside the movie industry’s leading men. In 1957 it was Frank Sinatra in “The Pride and the Passion and she excelled in Charlie Chaplin’s last film “A Countess from Hong Kong” in 1967 next to Marlon Brando. In 2007, at age 72, she posed for the Pirelli calendar, and was still referred to as “one of the world’s most stunning women.”

Born in 1964 in Umbria, Ms. Bellucci began her career as model, headlining campaigns for major fashion houses like Dior and Dolce & Gabanna. Her international film career took off in the 1990s, and it since has included roles like a vampire in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and as Persephone in Matrix Reloaded and the Matrix Revolutions, where she acted alongside Keanu Reeves. She received worldwide acclaim in 2004 for her performance as Mary Magdalene in the controversial “The Passion of the Christ,” directed by Mel Gibson.

Stunningly attractive, both actresses used diamond jewellery to achieve almost divine status.
The Diamond Divas exposition will feature some of these impressive jewellery worn by the two stars, amongst which a beautiful necklace with matching earrings picked by La Loren herself for a photo shoot for Vogue. This impressive necklace is created by Bulgari and is set with more than 1600 diamonds. This jewellery piece has never before been displayed outside the States, so this makes it a first class crowd puller.

Also on display at the exhibition, will be the two rings and the choker worn by Monica Bellucci in the Matrix trilogy. They were designed by Stefano Canturi, an Australia-based designer who has developed a name for creating spectacular jewellery for the silver screen. This is the first time that these items will go on public display, providing Diamond Divas with a world premiere.

Diamond Divas will be held under the Patronage of HRH Princess Mathilde.

The Diamond Divas exhibition runs from April 11-June 8, 2008, at the Diamond Museum of the Province of Antwerp, Astridplein 19-23, 2018 Antwerp (10:00 AM-5:30 PM/10:00 PM on Thursday). The entrance fee is € 12.50, and it also includes entry to the photography and fashion museums in Antwerp.

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Diamond Divas is a cooperation with the Diamond Museum of the Province of Antwerp, sponsored by Antwerp Diamond Bank, KBC, ABN AMRO, SNCB, Roularta group Lifestyle Magazines, De Standaard and the City of Antwerp. Diamond Divas is supported by the Province of Antwerp.


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