Will Marilyn Monroe return to Palm Springs?
Thousands of tourists from Los Angeles and around the world flocked to downtown Palm Springs two years ago to gawk at a 26-foot statue of the iconic beauty.
But the giant structure was taken from the desert city, presumably never to return.
But not so fast.
Palm Springs tourism organization P.S. Resorts will make a case to the City Council next week for returning the iconic Marilyn Monroe statue to the city, two years after it was moved to New Jersey, tourism officials disclosed Thursday.
“Forever Marilyn,” depicting Monroe’s famous flying skirt scene from 1955’s “The Seven-Year Itch,” resided in Palm Springs from 2012 to 2014 and “was a wildly successful tourism booster for our destination,” said Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism Director Mary Jo Ginther. The 26-foot-tall statue was originally on display in Chicago, but was on loan to Palm Springs for two years, residing at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way. The statue then went on display in New Jersey and Australia, but city and tourism officials have pushed to return the statue permanently since then.
Local tourism officials will propose a private fundraising effort next Wednesday to return the statue, currently owned by New Jersey-based Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc.
“The City Council is looking forward to hearing from P.S. Resorts about this potential partnership to bring Forever Marilyn back permanently,” said City Manager David Ready. “As Palm Springs continues to experience a renaissance as one of the world’s premier resort destinations, this is an exciting development as we move forward with our Downtown Revitalization Project.”
According to P.S. Resorts, the organization is negotiating a title sponsorship agreement with the nonprofit RumChata Foundation to cover half of the costs for transporting the statue back to California.
“The mission of P.S. Resorts is to stimulate tourism through the creation of events and partnerships and that is exactly what we did when we brought Forever Marilyn to Palm Springs the first time — and now we plan to do it again, but this time forever,” said P.S. Resorts Chairman Aftab Dada.
–Staff and wire reports