She's finally here! The Forever Marilyn statue is fully assembled in her new home on Museum Way in downtown Palm Springs. To celebrate, PS Resorts held a special unveiling ceremony Sunday evening
Forever Marilyn is a 26-foot-tall, 34,000-pound sculpture of Marilyn Monroe by Seward Johnson. The sculpture is based on the famous photograph of Marilyn by Bruno Bernard taken during the 1955 filming of “The Seven Year Itch.”
Forever Marilyn stood in the middle of downtown Palm Springs from May 2012 to March 2014. The sculpture attracted tourists from around the world and remained associated with the city of Palm Springs even after it was moved.
Rumors of Marilyn's return have been around since the moment she left. In November 2020, PS Resorts, a city tourism organization, began negotiations to either lease or purchase the sculpture and bring it back to the city. That same month, the Palm Springs City Council approved a three-year agreement to place the sculpture on Museum Way.
In February 2021, PS Resorts finished a $1 million deal to purchase "Forever Marilyn" and bring the sculpture back to Palm Springs. After some delays, the sculpture made an 8-day journey from New Jersey to Palm Springs.
The sculpture arrived in Palm Springs on June 8 and crews immediately went to work on putting Marilyn back together.
The return of Marilyn hasn't been without controversy. Groups opposing the sculpture for a variety of reasons held a protest just before the unveiling ceremony.
The long-awaited #ForeverMarilyn statue unveiling in #PalmSprings is just minutes away. Supporters and protesters are out in full force, including @womensmarch and #MeToo pic.twitter.com/XgG0Xb17ij— Shelby Nelson (@KESQShelby) June 21, 2021
It's the second time the groups have come together to hold a protest, with the first being held in April.
The Committee to Relocate Marilyn, one of the groups opposing the sculpture, argue that Marilyn's new location in downtown Palm Springs, citing its effect on the mid-century modern architecture of Palm Springs.
The sculpture has also been called "hyper-sexualized," "misogynist," and "an example of upskirting."
"This particular statue the way it is built is misogynistic." said Emiliana Guereca, president of The Women's March Foundation. "We are also no longer in the 1950s. There's also a Me Too culture going on. We are demanding respect for women and public spaces, which should be part of it as well."
The organization, #MeTooMarilyn, launched a petition to stop the return of the statue earlier this year. As of June 18, the petition has more than 41,000 signatures.
Stay with News Channel 3 for full coverage on the unveiling ceremony and the protest