Russian pays for operation with $2k Brigitte Bardot autograph

It wasn't an easy decision. Vladimir Komarov has held onto his signed picture of the cinema blonde bombshell Brigitte Bardot for half a century.

But now Komarov, a miner suffering from a serious lung complaint, has sold his picture for 61,000 roubles ($2,200) to pay for life-saving surgery.

He received the photograph five decades ago as a result of writing a love letter to the star of Et Dieu crea la femme (1956).

"Without this operation I will die. I would never have wanted to sell this photograph, but I have no other option," Komarov explained to Russian tabloid Tvoi Den.

The autographs and memorabilia of Bardot's fellow blonde starlet, Marilyn Monroe, also remain highly coveted.

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