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Committee to Relocate Marilyn says fight isn’t over despite judge’s decision to affirm location

The "Forever Marilyn" statue remains in New Jersey with no update on when it is expected to arrive in Palm Springs.

On Friday, a judge affirmed the city can move forward with installing the 26-foot tall statue on museum way but the 'Committee to Relocate Marilyn' says it's fight is still not over.

Designer Trina Turk, who helms the committee, spoke with News Channel 3's Peter Daut about the judge's decision.

"It was disappointing. But we maintain our position that museum way is not the right place for the Marilyn statue and we hope that the city and PS Resorts will revert back to the original location in the park. There has been a lot of community discussion, as I'm sure everyone is aware about this, and I think that what we're proposing is quite reasonable. We're not saying that we don't want the statue in Palm Springs, all we're saying is that we want her to go back to the original location in the park. That was part of the 2016 downtown plan," Turk said.

Turk was wearing a shirt that read #MeTooMarilyn during the interview. Peter pointed out the shirt and how when he first interviewed her about the statue, she didn't really want to talk about that part of the statue, because she was more focused on sort of what the city had done leading up to the move. Peter asked Turk about her switching gears and whether or not she thinks the statute is appropriate?

"Well, I make clothes for a living so I thought a t-shirt was called for in this case, and there's a change.org petition that has been started that has, I think it has over 24,000 signatures that's basically chastising the city of Palm Springs for considering putting up this statue, which many consider to be sexist, misogynistic, an example of upskirting, which in some countries and states is actually a crime. So I thought, well, 24,000 people, that's a lot of people and they're using the hashtag #MeTooMarilyn, so I jumped on the bandwagon and made a t-shirt," Turk said.

Peter then asks Turk whether she didn't want the statue on Museum Way or just not in Palm Springs at all.

"No, are CReMa, the Committee to Relocate Marilyn, our stance is still that we want the statue to be moved off of Museum Way. If the statue goes back to the park or another location of Palm Springs, I will shut up and you will never have to talk to me again," Turk said.

Peter responded, "I just wanted to make it clear, because if the argument is that it's not appropriate, then why have this statue at all in the city? If it's if it's like you said."

Turk replied, "I mean, I think that our our position has always been a bit of a compromise, which is we don't want it in Museum Way. I mean, a lot of the people who are, who have donated to CReMa are people who are from the architectural community and we've worked for 20 years to preserve the mid-century modern architecture of Palm Springs, that in itself is also a really big tourist draw. So the idea that, you know, we're going to block the museum, which is one of our finest examples of mid-century modern architecture. You know, we've been fighting, we fight it, we fought for the corridor from Palm Canyon to the museum. So it just sort of seems like after all this work, we're not just gonna say, Okay, yeah, you put it there. We just want it somewhere else."

On Monday, officials told News Channel 3's Taban Sharifi that the statue is still in New Jersey. We're awaiting more details on what this will mean for the grand unveiling. Peter asked Turk if CReMa is hopeful their efforts will help prevent it from coming here.

"I have no idea what's going on with the statue itself. I just hope that the delay will give PS resorts and the City Council some time to really realize what's going on in the community. I mean, there's outrage in the community. And I think that it's spilling over into this bigger conversation about the appropriateness of the statue in general," Turk said.

Peter finished up discussing his previous interview with Palm Springs Mayor Christy Holstege on March 30 regarding Forever Marilyn.

Holstege said that she felt like she never heard any criticism about the statue prior to the location announcement and that she felt like this sort of blindsided her in a way. Peter asked Turk whether she agreed about complaints over the statue.

"I do disagree. I know of many people and many people have emailed me after we started CReMa to tell me that they had sent letters to the city council back in November, and that they had not really received responses. I mean, in some cases, they would send a letter to all five council members, and they might have received an auto response from one. But I guess the main point about community feedback is that there was another meeting called for and there was a city staff report that called for an additional meeting to be had. And that's why we originally hired an attorney was to just inquire when is that meeting going to happen? And the city's response was basically that they weren't going to have the meeting. And so I think that the mayor statement is a bit disingenuous, because there was a third meeting that was called for by city a city staff report that never happened," Turk said.

The Palm Springs City Council formally approved the location of Forever Marilyn during the Nov. 13, 2020 meeting.

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