Marilyn Monroe is back in Palm Springs (California) in a huge way, but not everyone is happy. On Sunday, a 26-foot (7.9-m tall) statue of the Hollywood icon, dressed in her iconic billowing white gown, was unveiled in front the Palm Springs Art Museum. It faces Palm Canyon Drive, the main tourist area of the city.
John Seward Johnson II sculpted the artwork in 2011. It was inspired by a scene in “The Seven Year Itch”. According to Aftab Dada (chairman of P.S. Resorts is a local hospitality company.
Dada stated that the statue is popular for taking photos and that it will increase traffic due to past experience. He added that “And at that point in 2012, 13, 14, the social media boom wasn’t as big as it is now.”
John McDermott (77), a Palm Springs resident, stopped by while he was riding his morning bike.
McDermott stated, “I speak for Palm Springs residents, where everyone is ecstatic that she back here, absolutely thrilled.” It’s good news for the community and good news for businesses. This will be the Eiffel Tower in Palm Springs.
Brooks Thomas, 50 (a Palm Springs resident since eight years), was not impressed by the view.
He said, “It’s absurd to go out the museum and see someone’s underpants.” “People can have all sorts of issues with other things, but this, you know, they believe it’s okay.”
Protesters, including Women’s March Foundation, shouted that the statue was exploitative and misogynistic when it was unveiled. Critics also criticized its location.
Chris Menrad created the Committee to Relocate Marilyn. It filed a lawsuit citing public code and raised over $70,000 to remove it.
Menad stated that the statue was located in the middle a street that Menad had created to connect the museum to Palm Canyon Drive.