MEXICO CITY - Italian film legend Sophia Loren inaugurated Thursday an exhibition in Mexico showing off personal treasures including glamorous dresses, silk purses and her Oscar, to mark her upcoming 80th birthday.
The trove, which includes jewelry, high-heel shoes and portraits of the diva, is being displayed at the Soumaya Museum of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim in Mexico City.
"This is not a celebration of the past but the prologue of a beautiful life that has given me a lot," Loren told a news conference alongside Slim and her son Carlo Ponti.
Wearing a red pantsuit, Loren walked through the exhibition dubbed "Sophia Loren: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow," which will open to the public on September 22 in the modern hourglass-shaped museum.
Visitors will get a glimpse of her personal and professional life, including original screenplays and clips of famous romantic movie scenes with legendary leading men such as Marcello Mastroianni, Cary Grant and Marlon Brando.
She said her best actress Oscar for the 1960 Italian World War II drama "Two Women" is her favourite item on display.
"One feels out of this world, it's like falling in love," Loren said as she recalled receiving the Academy Award.
The actress was emotional at times in recalling her life.
"I've had a very difficult life but it has been a fruitful life," said Loren, who married film director Carlo Ponti in 1957 and was by his side until his death aged 94 in 2007. They had two sons, Carlo and Edoardo.
Slim will host a dinner in honour of Loren on her birthday on Saturday with guests including artists and business leaders.