Giant Marilyn Monroe Statue Sparks Controversy

Some in Palm Springs, Calif., aren't excited to see it return
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2021 4:00 AM CDT
Giant Marilyn Monroe Statue Is Back, Still Controversial
In this July 15, 2011 file photo, the curious gather around Seward Johnson's 26-foot-tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe, in her most famous wind-blown pose, on Michigan Avenue, in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

The massive Marilyn Monroe statue whose clearly visible undies have caused drama in the past is back at it. The 26-foot-tall "Forever Marilyn" is returning to Palm Springs, Calif., permanently, after a temporary stay in the city from 2012 to 2014, NPR reports. And while many are happy to have the tourist attraction back, some are most definitely not. The stainless steel and aluminum sculpture shows Monroe in her iconic Seven Year Itch pose, with air from a subway grate blowing up her skirt, and she'll be placed in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum—with her backside, and thus the aforementioned undies, facing visitors as they exit.

The museum director complains that the thousands of students who visit the museum each year shouldn't be forced to look at that, and the person who started a petition objecting to the statue's placement agrees. "It forces people almost to upskirt," she says of the statue's location, referring to the (illegal in California) practice of sneakily taking a photo up someone's skirt. In addition to the petition, which has been signed by more than 40,000 so far, there's the Committee to Relocate Marilyn, which has raised nearly $70,000 so far toward its quest of having the statue placed elsewhere. Opponents staged a protest last month, KESQ reports. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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