Location of Iconic Marilyn Monroe Sculpture Sparked California Debate

The city council’s approval of the iconic 26-ft tall “Forever Marilyn” sculpture’s new location near the Palm Springs Art Museum has sparked a community debate.

The statue’s return to the community since leaving the Palm Springs area in 2014, is generally regarded as welcome. After all the the gigantic image of the iconic Marilyn Monroe pose of mischievously holding down her wind-blown skirt has for years attracted considerable attention, especially among visitors.

However, what members of the Palm Springs community do not agree with, particularly the administrator of the Palm Springs Art Museum, is the new location upon which the statue will be installed when it returns to the city.

Arguments of Those in Favor of the New Location

Those in favor of the Seward Johnson’s “Forever Marilyn” installation, side with P.S. Resorts’ goal of encouraging the tourism aspect of the Palm Springs area. Since 2014, they have been working hard to bring the statue back.on a more permanent basis and as an exhibit, to which the Palm Spring City’s tourism officials agree.

Disapproval of the Community Concerning the Location

Not everyone approves the installation of the 26-foot tall Marilyn Monroe statue near the museum; unlike when it was installed for the first time near downtown. In fact it can be recalled that back in 2012, and in its former location at the corner of an intersection, the city council received numerous complaints from community members, about the sculpture being overtly sexual and not in good taste.

Moreover, Palm Springs Art Museum’s CEO Louis Grachos pointed out that hundreds of thousands of school-age children come to their museum yearly. He believes that it’s improper that the first thing that the young people will see right after visiting the museum is Marilyn Monroe’s underwear and her exposed backside.

Mr. Grachos argued that the sculpture sends the wrong message of cultural values, especially to the youth, as it instills behaviors of treating women as objects. Placing it near the museum will hurt the reputation not only of the Palm Spring museum but that of the city as well.