The "Forever Marilyn" statue, a fixture in downtown Palm Springs for nearly two years will be transported today to its next stop -- New Jersey.
A send-off event was held last Thursday for the sculpture, which had resided at Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way since May 2012. People who've taken photos with "Forever Marilyn" were encouraged to contribute to a photo album of the sculpture's stay in Palm Springs by posting photos on social media sites.
The 26-foot-high, 34,300-pound painted metal sculpture had been slated to stay in Palm Springs through June 2013, but its owner, Santa Monica-based Sculpture Foundation, granted a few extensions, according to P.S. Resorts, a nonprofit started by local hoteliers to promote Palm Springs tourism.
The sculpture will be taken to Hamilton, N.J., for an exhibition and gala honoring its creator, Seward Johnson, at a sculpture park called Grounds For Sculpture.
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. P.S. Resorts and local donors, restaurant owners, hoteliers and merchants helped pay the $78,000 installation cost.
According to P.S. Resorts, the Sculpture Foundation has received "countless" requests and invitations for "Forever Marilyn," including from out of the country. The next stop after New Jersey has not been decided.
In Palm Springs, movie screenings, concerts, a Marilyn 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, Baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio, and owned a home in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood in the early 1960s.
– City News Service.