A 26-foot-tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe willstay in downtown Palm Springs until March, it was announced today.
The Santa Monica-based Sculpture Foundation, which owns the “ForeverMarilyn” statue, granted the extension. The sculpture had been slated to bemoved from Palm Springs in mid-November, according to P.S. Resorts, a nonprofitstarted by local hoteliers to promote Palm Springs tourism.
“We’re very pleased to have the sculpture in Palm Springs through theend of March 2014,” said Aftab Dada, chairman of P.S. Resorts, which organizedand helped fund the installation of “Forever Marilyn.”
The sculpture, located on the corner of Tahquitz Canyon Way and PalmCanyon Drive, has drawn thousands of residents and visitors since its arrivalin May 2012, according to the city and P.S. Resorts.
The statue was originally scheduled to remain in Palm Springs throughJune, then got an extension to September, then November.
Next year, the sculpture will be taken to Hamilton, N.J., for anexhibition and gala honoring Johnson at a sculpture park called Grounds ForSculpture, according to P.S. Resorts.
The sculpture is based on a photograph by Bruno Bernard taken during the1955 filming of “The Seven Year Itch.”
The 34,300-pound statue was unveiled in July 2011 on Michigan Avenue inChicago, and was shipped in pieces to Palm Springs in May 2012 and reassembleda week later. P.S. Resorts and local donors, restaurant owners, hoteliers andmerchants helped pay the $78,000 installation cost.
Monroe reportedly was discovered in Palm Springs at Charlie Farrell’sRacquet Club by talent agent Johnny Hyde in 1949. She spent time in PalmSprings in the 1950s with her then-husband, Baseball Hall of Famer JoeDiMaggio, and eventually owned a home in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood inthe early 1960s, according to P.S. Resorts.
Dada said P.S. Resorts will plan more events at the sculpture. Thestatue has been the backdrop for a birthday party for Monroe featuring an EltonJohn tribute artist, screenings of Monroe’s films and a Monroe look-alikecontest. Same-sex marriages will be performed at the statue during the annualGreater Palm Springs Pride Celebration in November.