A 26-foot-tall Marilyn Monroe statue that was in Palm Springs from 2012 to 2014 will return to the city, two city officials confirmed Wednesday.
KESQ’s report that “Forever Marilyn” would return was confirmed by Palm Springs Councilman J.R. Roberts. Mayor Robert Moon told The Desert Sun the statue would return to the city on a permanent basis. There was no immediate response to a call to city Communications Director Amy Blaisdell to confirm the report.
“Marilyn has become somewhat of an icon for Palm Springs and some love her and some not so much but at the end of the day she’s become part of our brand,” Roberts told The Desert Sun.
The statue — based on a photograph by Bruno Bernard taken during the 1955 filming of “The Seven Year Itch” — was unveiled in July 2011 on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, shipped in pieces to Palm Springs in May 2012 and reassembled a week later. It was transported to Hamilton, New Jersey in 2014. It later went on display in Australia.
The statue is owned by Santa Monica-based Sculpture Foundation,
The local tourism organization P.S. Resorts announced at a 2016 City Council meeting that the statue would return to the city.
Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism Director Mary Jo Ginther said in 2016 the statue “was a wildly successful tourism booster for our destination” during its time in the city.
In Palm Springs, movie screenings, concerts, a Monroe birthday celebration and a look-alike contest were held at the statue.
Monroe supposedly 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, legendary New York Yankees outfielder Joe DiMaggio, and owned a home in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood in the early 1960s.
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