Farewell concert to be held at "Forever Marilyn"

PALM SPRINGS, Calif -  A ``farewell'' concert will be held in September for the ``Forever Marilyn'' statue that has been in downtown Palm Springs for more than a year, it was announced today.

The free concert, which will feature Beatles and Beach Boys tribute bands, is scheduled for Sept. 7 at the 26-foot-tall sculpture at Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way, according to the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism.

The statue of film legend Marilyn Monroe was installed in May 2012 after a weeklong trip from its previous home in Chicago, and was originally scheduled to remain in Palm Springs through last month.

An arrangement was since made with the sculpture's owner to allow it to stay in Palm Springs until early September, according to P.S. Resorts, which organized and helped fund the installation of ``Forever Marilyn.''

Information posted on the tourism bureau's website said negotiations are in progress with the Santa Monica-based Sculpture Foundation, which owns the statue, ``to retain her for an extended period.''

``Forever Marilyn,'' created by sculptor Seward Johnson, has drawn thousands of visitors to downtown Palm Springs since May 2012, according to P.S. Resorts. It is based on a photograph by Bruno Bernard taken during the 1955 filming of ``The Seven Year Itch.''

The 34,300-pound statue was unveiled in July 2011 on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and was shipped in pieces to Palm Springs and reassembled. P.S. Resorts and local donors, restaurant owners, hoteliers and merchants helped pay the $78,000 installation cost.

Monroe reportedly was discovered in Palm Springs at Charlie Farrell's Racquet Club by talent agent Johnny Hyde in 1949. She spent time in Palm Springs in the 1950s with her then-husband, Baseball Hall of Fame member Joe DiMaggio, and eventually owned a home in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood in the early 1960s, according to P.S. Resorts.

A Marilyn Monroe look-alike contest is scheduled for Aug. 1 at Palm Springs' VillageFest, on Palm Canyon between Baristo and Amado roads. The deadline to enter is July 30. Information is posted at forevermarilynpslookalike.eventbrite.com.

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