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Brigitte Bardot is back in Torremolinos

The picture is on the Adriano hotel, in the Plaza Costa del Sol.
The picture is on the Adriano hotel, in the Plaza Costa del Sol. / JUDY GABOR
  • A mural recalls the visit by the French actress who was filming a controversial movie in 1954

A new mural has been taking the people of Torremolinos back to when a young Brigitte Bardot visited the town. Artist Guillermo Paz, known as Nesui SRC, has used a photo taken of the French actress while she was filming The Night Heaven Fell in the 1950s for his latest piece of urban art.

Nesui, who is from Galicia but now lives in Torremolinos, has used plastic and spray paint for this work, which was commissioned by the council and is on the wall of the Adriano hotel in the Plaza Costa del Sol.

The film was shot in the town in 1954, when Torremolinos was still a district of Malaga. It was directed by Bardot's husband at that time, Roger Vadim, and caused controversy in France because it portrayed adultery and showed Bardot without clothes.

The actress is said to have had a very strong personality and an astonishing ability to get her own way wherever she went, especially in the timid Spain of the 1950s, under the yoke of Francoist repression.

When Bardot came to Torremolinos, though, the town had started to attract stars and aristocrats. Gala Dalí used to stroll topless along the beach at El Bajondillo, Frank Sinatra hit a photographer at the Pez Espada hotel and Anthony Quinn played the saxophone along with a local band.

Brigitte Bardot is back in Torremolinos

"It's the Spanish Saint-Tropez," the actress said about Torremolinos. The local train arriving at El Pinillo opened this French-Italian co-production which so enthralled the Costa del Sol for several weeks.

Bardot had already achieved worldwide fame with And God Created Woman and was not prepared to waste her time filming long scenes, so the team started to look for local women who resembled her and dreamed of having their five minutes of fame.

Not everyone was happy about her presence, though. The then mayor received a letter signed by several people demanding that the actress and model be thrown out "for her immoral behaviour and attitude".

However, the council was delighted that Brigitte Bardot had spent time in Torremolinos and decided to named a street near Los Álamos beach after her.

Now, the face of this icon of European popular culture, who is now 84, has a permanent place in the town centre, in the Plaza Costa del Sol.