Michael Jackson’s personal treasure chest of loot was showcased at the Newbridge Silverware factory in County Kildare earlier this year – before he went wacko and demanded its return -- and now it’s Marilyn Monroe’s turn to have her stuff on display at Newbridge’s Museum of Style.
Monroe’s possessions are going to be sold off in Las Vegas next month by the LA-based Julien’s Auctions, whose executive director is Irish-born Martin Nolan. The Jackson exhibition drew more than 30,000 people to Newbridge to view iconic items such as his jewel-encrusted glove, and the museum is hoping for similar success with its Monroe show.
"When we were here with Michael Jackson we had such an overwhelming response we wanted to come back to Ireland again with an impressive exhibition," said Nolan.
Among Monroe’s belongings on display are a white terry cloth robe that she wore during her last photo shoot, and the famous pink dress she wore while singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blonds – a look that was successfully copied by Madonna during her Material Girl days.
The Monroe auction, unlike Jackson’s, should go off without a hitch. After all, the originator of blond ambition is long passed, so she can’t cause a ruckus like MJ did earlier this year.
"That was like the biggest blow. It totally took the wind out of our sails,” Nolan said of the aborted Wacko auction.
“We knew it would have destroyed us financially if we just had to give it back and not be compensated for our efforts. Michael wanted his stuff back. He changed his mind.
"But we had spent nine months working on this, with a huge financial investment on our part and so we needed to be compensated. In the end, it worked out very well, we were compensated very nicely.”