Brigitte Bardot, the screen goddess who became a symbol of feminism and sexual liberation, turns 75 on Monday with her native France again honouring her with a first exhibition on her life.
A retrospective exhibit, "Brigitte Bardot, les annees insouciance" (years of nonchalance) at the Espace Landowski in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris, is an attempt to recapture the impact she had, and to celebrate the era-defining career of a woman who seemed to be a force of nature.
The exhibit opens with a film clip of the star clad only in long black boots and a floating French tricolor flag -- an image that says much about her twin status as sex symbol and national treasure.
For France, she was as much an embodiment of the glamorous post-World War Two world as James Bond, Marilyn Monroe or the Beatles.
Now a virtual recluse who walks on crutches because of arthritis, Bardot will neither attend the Tuesday launch of "Brigitte Bardot: The Carefree Years" -- nor appear on camera.
But in a voiced comment on French television she said: "I am proud to have an exhibition, to be recognised for what I've done with my life."