A colossal sculpture depicting Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress-flying pose from the 1955 romantic comedy “The Seven Year Itch” is several months away from returning to Palm Springs, city officials said Friday.
The Palm Springs City Council on Thursday approved an agreement with the nonprofit tourism organization PS Resorts that would see the 26-foot-tall sculpture dubbed “Forever Marilyn” erected on Museum Way, just east of the Palm Springs Art Museum.
The 17-ton Marilyn statue crafted of steel and aluminum was first unveiled in Chicago in 2011 before moving to the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Taquitz Canyon Way in Palm Springs in 2012, where it resided for about two years.
“When the statue was here a few years ago, it was a tourism phenomenon so to speak,” City Manager David Ready told City News Service on Friday. “There were people there day and night, even in the middle of the summer.”
The agreement includes a term of up to three years, and requires periodic updates back to the council.
The statue’s return is still several months away, Ready said, and is dependent on PS Resorts acquiring it from its owner, a cost Ready pegged at about $1 million.
City spokeswoman Amy Blaisdell said PS Resorts is looking into either purchasing or leasing the sculpture, although the tourism organization could not immediately be reached for comment.
“Forever Marilyn” was designed by artist Seward Johnson, who died in March.
The humongous sculpture recreates the moment in “The Seven Year Itch” where Monroe’s white dress surges up toward her waist as she stands on a windy Manhattan subway grate.
“Marilyn has come to represent beauty, and the white dress blowing up around her is a type of teasing sensuality,” Johnson once said.
“There is something about her pose, the exuberance for life without inhibition, it expresses an uninhibited sense of our own vibrancy.”
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