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This Exhibit Takes You Inside Rome’s Glitziest Celebrity Moments Through the Lens of Paparazzi

Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni from Mencarini’s archive

Marking a time when a candid snapshot of a celebrity sparked endless conversation, the Paparazzi exhibition at Bulgari‘s museum space DomvsAvrea in Via Condotti, celebrates the industry that permeated fame during the 50s and 60s. Since opening its doors on November 12, the museum is paying tribute to all the photographers and iconic pieces that fueled the world of celebrity glitz and glamor.

Industry influencers like Italian actor and photojournalist Gina Lollobrigida, Academy Award-winning The Great Beauty star Isabella Ferrari, and the “King of Paparazzi” Rino Barillari, were some of the attendees at the opening of the exhibition.

Gina Lollobrigida and Rino Barillari. Photo: Courtesy of Bulgari

The exhibition takes pride in the luxurious pieces of jewelry showcased that revive the era’s joy after arduous years of the post-war period. Sapphires of Anita Ekberg, the Swedish actor known for her foxy gaze, are displayed alongside Anna Magnani’s precious diamonds and emeralds that lured the Cleopatra star, Elizabeth Taylor.

Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels. Photo: Courtesy of Bulgari

The paparazzi ignited a new all-Italian fire in the world of journalism. The exhibition sheds light on some items with unforgettable stories, such as the arrows Ekberg used to shoot at photographers, and Marcello Geppetti’s iconic camera, that captured a moment of intimacy between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

The exhibition also honors an archive of symbolic photographs by Rino Barillari, Pierluigi Praturlon’s theatrical shots, and Tazio Secchiaroli’s work that influenced Fellini to create the character, Paparazzo.

Anita Ekberg by Pirluigi Praturlon. Photo: Courtesy of Bulgari

Elaborating on the long history of stories about the fast-paced industry, Marcello Mencarini came across a collection of images kept in ‘La Valigia Romana’ (The Roman Suitcase) in the 80s. The suitcase carried hundreds of shots, vintage magazines, a lamp, a light meter, and some snapshots of actors, writers, artists, and politicians in the 50s and 60s. This suitcase is open to the public, as the museum and exhibition are free of charge.

The Roman Suitcase. Photo: Courtesy of Bulgari

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