"Forever Marilyn" statue to leave Palm Springs this March

"Forever Marilyn" statue to leave Palm Springs this March

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - "I kind of looked under it and then I posed under it, just in awe, said Jessie Crum, a part-time resident of the valley, who couldn't wait to see the "Forever Marilyn" statue up close.

But soon tourists and locals will no longer be able to snap their picture with the pop culture icon in downtown Palm Springs.  Monroe was reportedly discovered here and owned a home in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood.  Many say she's where she belongs.

"It's a great place for her to be don't you think? Not far from Hollywood," said out-of-town visitor Anthony Cass.

The sculpture, which sits at the corner of Tahquitz Canyon and Palm Canyon, will be removed at the end of March. A farewell celebration is set for March 27 at Villagefest.

"It's been a great attraction to have in our downtown, thousands of people have taken their picture there," said James Canfield, executive director at the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism.

The nod to Monroe's famous scene in the 1955 film, "The Seven Year-Itch" made downtown Palm Springs more popular than ever.  Local businesses cashed in on those who came to catch a glimpse of her classic pose, and stayed to check out the nearby shops. 

"It does bring a lot of money to the street because a lot of people come and visit her and stay in town," said Harly Alejandro, who works at nearby Lappert's Ice Cream shop.

The conversation-starter will next make its way to Hamilton, New Jersey for a life-time retrospective exhibit and gala honoring its creator, American artist Seward Johnson.

And as for whether she'll be back, much like her dress, that's still up in the air. 

"There have been a lot of attempts to keep her here on a permanent basis, and I know there have been discussions to purchase Marilyn," Canfield said.

The city of Palm Springs, however, says with the new downtown development under construction, she would have had to be removed - at least temporarily - either way. 

"Where she sits will actually be a construction site so we always knew she would have to move from that location," Canfield said.

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