Sophia Loren Celebrating 80th Birthday With First-Ever Exhibit

Sophia Loren in Crowd - H 2014

Sophia Loren in Crowd - H 2014

'Sophia Loren Mexico: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow' features prized possessions of the Italian icon

Academy Award winner Sophia Loren inaugurated a Mexico City exhibit dedicated to her illustrious acting career.

Why Mexico for the unprecedented art show? Loren told reporters at a Mexico City news conference that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim approached her with the idea two years ago and it finally came to fruition. Slim, the world's richest man, owns the Soumaya Museum, where the Loren exhibit is on display.

Occupying an entire floor in the spacious Soumaya, the temporary exhibit includes Loren's wardrobe collection, awards, books, movie posters, video clips and what Loren calls her most valuable possession: the Oscar statuette she won for best actress in Two Women.

Sporting a red pantsuit and tinted glasses, a misty-eyed Loren said: "I'm very moved by this, it's a beautiful exhibit."

The museum will hold a red carpet event on Saturday when Loren turns 80. Parallel events in upcoming days include a retrospective of her work at Mexico City's Cineteca Nacional and a Sunday concert conducted by her son, Carlo Ponti.

The screen legend was guest of honor for Cannes Classics earlier this year and the AFI Fest will honor Loren on Nov. 12 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Marriage Italian Style.