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Friday, September 17, 1999 Published at 10:55 GMT 11:55 UK


Marilyn exhibition gets personal

Marilyn Monroe died 37 years ago but still captivates her fans

A glittering exhibition offering a glimpse into the life of Marilyn Monroe will reveal personal belongings and figure-hugging clothes, but also includes some less glamorous exhibits.

Opening this weekend at Christie's in London, the collection allows people to see the items before they are auctioned in New York next month. Before then, the exhibition is being taken on a whistle-stop tour of Paris, London, Buenos Aires and Los Angeles.

The sequinned shoes she wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes will be on show, alongside the wedding ring from her second husband, Joe DiMaggio, and the baby grand piano bought by her mother.

[ image: Happy birthday Mr President]
Happy birthday Mr President
On a less glamorous note, the turkey-baster from her kitchen will also be on sale, but is expected to fetch only $100.

But those hoping to take a closer look at the dress Marilyn wore when she sang happy birthday to President Kennedy, will be disappointed.

Although the skin-tight gown was the main attraction at a recent exhibition in New York, Christie's say it is now being viewed by a private client.

The flesh-coloured, beaded dress she wore when serenading JFK in 1962, is expected to reach a six figure sum at the sale on 27th and 28th October.

And her shooting-script for the film Some Like It Hot is expected to sell for $30,000.

[ image: Those famous high heels]
Those famous high heels
During the last months of her life Marilyn was almost broke, but she continued to give possessions and money away to charities and friends.

When she died, in August 1962, she had only $3,000 dollars in the bank and debts of $100,000. She left the bulk of her estate to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg.

The collection has been stored in a warehouse for 35 years and is now being sold by Mr Strasberg's widow.

Senior vice-president at Christie's, Nancy Valentino, said: "The property has been out of sight for more than 35 years and seeing it for the very first time is like opening a time capsule".

[ image: Sequinned dress worth $50,000]
Sequinned dress worth $50,000
Donald H Wolfe, a Monroe expert and author of The Assassination of Marilyn Monroe, said: "Walking through the exhibition is spooky. It brings back this vivid impression of her even though it was just her things.

"There was always this public intrigue and fascination with her and I think the fact that she died while she was still quite young, in mysterious circumstances which have never been explained, kept her in the public eye".

The London exhibition runs from 18-22 September at Christie's showrooms in King's Street.

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Internet Links

Sale of Marilyn Monroe's personal property - Christie's

Marilyn Monroe [official site]

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