Local Residents React To Marilyn Monroe Statue Controversy

Nico Payne

The 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe is set to be unveiled on Museum Way in downtown Palm Springs on April 25th, this statue has had a lot of controversy surrounding it but folks at the Palm Springs Art Museum speak exclusively to NBC Palm Springs on how they feel.

Little did Marilyn Monroe know when she filmed this classic back in 1955 that over 60 years later there would be controversy about a Marilyn Monroe statue in the city of Palm Springs. The statue is supposed to place in the middle of the Palm Springs Art Museum, but opponents have temporarily halted the project

“I do think it’s ridiculous,” exclaimed Robert Collins, resident of Palm Springs.

On Wednesday friends of the art museum expressed thoughts for and against Marilyn.

“I’ve been here when Marilyn was downtown before, it was a huge draw, it was an attraction for palm springs I’d love to see it come back,” added Collins.

But not everybody agrees with him, some people here at the museum say they don’t have a problem with the statue itself, but rather the placement of the statue and the body parts that will be shown.

“They’ve been showing some pictures of how you might come out of the museum and just be looking at her butt, it’s just, you know it’s just not right,” said Alta Hester, Palm Spring Resident.

Others say art is art, and they will interpret it as they like.

“This is a part she played in “The Seven-Year Itch,” and compared to what the kids see on television today, I don’t see anything wrong with the statue,” explained Rosanne Kmoepfla, Cathedral City resident.

“The placement is really what the debate is I think, but I think on the other hand who is to tell me what art is,” said Collins.

The Palm Springs Art Museum explaining their stance in saying they did not have a role in bringing Marilyn back to Palm Springs.

“It’s a somewhat sexualized representation of Marilyn Monroe, different from the film, and the way it’s going to be placed as people exit the front of our museum, they’re going to be staring at her panty clad backside, and it just does not seem appropriate,” said Scott Slaeem, Director of Marketing & Communications with the Palm Springs Art Museum.

A hearing is set to be held on April 9th, at that time a judge will decide on whether to relocate Ms. Monroe or if she will indeed be placed on the cement platform built on Museum Way.

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