A local business group spent $1 million to purchase “Forever Marilyn”

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PALM SPRINGS, Calif.—People come to this desert city because they like it hot. Now a 36,000-pound starlet is at the center of a heated debate here.

A local business group spent $1 million to purchase “Forever Marilyn,” a 26-foot-high statue of Marilyn Monroe that has sparked controversy in numerous cities over the past decade. The group intends to place it near the Palm Springs Art Museum by the end of summer.

“Forever Marilyn” depicts Ms. Monroe in a scene from Billy Wilder’s 1955 film “The Seven-Year Itch,” in which she catches her white dress as air from a grate blows it up past her waist. Some say it is a kitschy object that would clash with Palm Springs’ sophisticated cultural scene. Others say the statue is outdated and misogynistic, representing the “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” star as a sex symbol without taking her life story and work into account.

On a recent Saturday morning, several dozen demonstrators gathered for the second weekend in a row near a podium where “Forever Marilyn” is set to be placed.

 

“Hey hey, ho ho! Marilyn has got to go!” the crowd chanted while holding signs that read “Marilyn anywhere but here” and “No Marilyn.”

 

By talal ansari

proc. by MOVIES

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