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Friday, October 22, 2021

‘Forever Marilyn’ causes a stir in Palm Springs

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‘Forever Marilyn’ causes a stir in Palm Springs
‘Forever Marilyn’ causes a stir in Palm Springs

Marilyn Monroe is back in Palm Springs, California, in a big way - but not everyone is thrilled.

A 26 foot tall statue of the Hollywood icon in her famous billowing white dress was unveiled in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum, facing Palm Canyon Drive, the city's main tourist strip.

Gavino Garay reports.

This larger-than-life statue of movie icon Marilyn Monroe in Palm Springs, California - depicting a classic scene from “The Seven Year Itch” - is rubbing some people the wrong way.

Protesters from the Women's March Foundation have called the giant statue misogynistic and exploitative of the star who is said to have been discovered in Palm Springs... and would have been 95 today.

50-YEAR-OLD BROOKS THOMAS, RESIDENT OF PALM SPRINGS FOR 8 YEARS: "It's absurd that you're going to leave the museum and see the backside of someone's underpants from any era, regardless who it is or what it is like.

It's you know, people have all kinds of issues with other things that they find obscene, but this you know, they think it's acceptable." Retired artist Melissa Manson is among those who thinks the 26-ft tall statue, sculpted by the late Seward Johnson in 2011, is acceptable.

"I don't think this offends anybody.

I don't think it's misogynistic.

I don't think it exposes women to anything dangerous or uncomfortable." Chris Menrad, founder of the Committee to Relocate Marilyn, said he simply isn’t happy with the statue’s location.

"The issue that the committee to relocate Marilyn has with the current location of the statue is that, it is placed in the middle of a new street that was created to open up our world famous Palm Springs Art Museum and connect it to our main street, which is Palm Canyon, just that direction.

And we have an issue with placing a large statue that is blocking that view on a quote unquote, temporary basis that everybody knows is not going to be temporary." But Palm Springs resident John McDermott thinks it’ll be great for business.

“Everybody is ecstatic to have her back here, absolutely ecstatic.

It's good for the community, it's good for the businesses.

You know, this is going to be our Eiffel Tower.

This is going to be the Eiffel Tower of Palm Springs." A chairman of a local hospitality group says the statue is already popular for snapshots and the community is expecting it to increase visitor traffic after the health crisis, But the statue is reported to face a petition and legal action.

LBGTQ activists and other critics say it promotes toxic masculinity… so wherever Marilyn ends up… the debate is far from over...

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