Marilyn Monroe sculpture heads to Palm Springs

26-foot-tall artwork to tower over Tahquitz Canyon, Palm Canyon drives

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The iconic 26-foot-tall statue that became a controversial fixture on Chicago's Michigan Avenue will leave the Windy City on Monday and head for warmer temperature in Palm Springs.

WMAQ-TV reports "Forever Marilyn," created by sculptor Seward Johnson, will be installed next month at the intersection of Palm Canyon and Tahquitz Canyon drives in the heart of downtown, presumably where the former Bank of America branch once stood.

"She's the most photographed thing we've had on the plaza," Melissa Farrell of the Zeller Realty Group, owners of the Pioneer Court, told the Chicago Tribune. "All hours of the day people are posing with her, taking pictures. We see it on our security cameras. She always has a crowd."

Early in her career, Monroe spent a lot of time in Palm Springs.

According to biographer Barbara Leaming, Monroe spent weekends in the city trying to get vacationing Hollywood executives' attention early in her career.  She also made the desert one of her favorite getaways for years afterward.

The piece recreates the iconic moment from the 1955 movie "The Seven Year Itch," when a drafty New York subway grate blows the sex symbol's skirt well above her knees.

The artwork didn't get the warmest reception in Chicago when it was installed there in July, according to some news reports. dubbed "Forever Marilyn" as the No. 1 piece of bad public art -- ahead of a Bewitched statue in Salem, Mass.

Details of the installation in Palm Springs are still in the planning stages.

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