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Neteru
17-11-04, 15:11
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40533000/jpg/_40533089_callas_body_ap.jpg

Jewellery belonging to opera singer Maria Callas, including an 11.7-carat diamond ring, is being sold.

The pieces, including many of the diva's favourites - such as a ruby-strewn bracelet and huge pearl drop earrings - are being sold in Geneva.

Auction house Sotheby's believe the 11 items will fetch an estimated $1m (539,000).

The collection includes items given to Maria Callas by her first husband, Giovanni Meneghini, half a century ago.

Callas, famed for her acclaimed role as Tosca in Franco Zeffirelli's stage production of the Puccini opera, married the Italian Meneghini in 1949.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40533000/jpg/_40533215_diamond_body_ap.jpg

Mystery

She later left him for Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. They shared a stormy relationship until he wed Jacqueline Kennedy in 1968.

Although the jewels' provenance is well-known, the identity of the seller is shrouded in mystery, says the BBC's Imogen Faulkes in Geneva.

At the time of her death in 1977, Callas' multi-million dollar estate was the subject of much disagreement among her family and friends.

Now some of those who remember her are angry that her jewels are being sold off.

The film director Franco Zefferelli, for example, has described the sale as a shameful exploitation of the opera singer's legacy.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40533000/jpg/_40533207_necklace_body_ap.jpg http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40533000/jpg/_40533253_ruby_body_ap.jpg

Full story bbc.co.uk (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4017977.stm)

Neteru
17-11-04, 15:14
What an insult to the memory of La Divina! I always hate to see autions of the personal possessions of famous people who are now dead.

Nicky
17-11-04, 16:19
Yeah, I agree :(

These sorts of auctions always make me sad - it's such a tragic irony that the jewels are still nice and shiny, while their former owner is already food for the worms :(