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All about Marilyn -- star photos fetch €580k at auction

HUNDREDS of photographs of blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe and other celebrities were sold for more than €580,000.

Bidders and spectators packed the Desa Unicum house in Warsaw, where 238 pictures by the late American fashion and celebrity photographer Milton Greene were up for sale. Only one remained unsold, among some 500 bidders.


The auction house said the 2.4 million zlotys obtained made it the nation's biggest photo auction to date.

Most of the pictures of Monroe were taken from 1953 to 1957 when Greene was her adviser and business partner. He made many of the prints during Monroe's lifetime and they are highly valued by collectors.

They include series of refined black-and-white studio photos and shots taken in natural surroundings, sometimes in provocative poses, some in colour.

As the bidding began, a black-and-white photo of a reclining Monroe in black stockings sold for 50,000 zlotys (€12,500), and another of her in a ballerina's dress sold for nearly €15,600. A picture of her in bed fetched €6,700.

The auction also offered Greene's pictures of other stars, including Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Marlene Dietrich and Liza Minnelli. Other greats in the vast portrait collection, which had been estimated at €535,000, included Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman, Alfred Hitchcock and Marlon Brando.

Proceeds from the auction will go to the Polish government.