Risque Marilyn Monroe statue unveiled on Magnificent Mile

CBS Chicago photo
This brings new meaning to the word “statuesque.”

A towering, racy Marilyn Monroe statue was unveiled Friday on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

Here is the story, and photo, from CBS Chicago:

The long-awaited 26-foot sculpture of Marilyn Monroe was unveiled on the Magnificent Mile Friday morning, amid controversy about its risqué appearance.

The three-part piece sculpture by artist Seward Johnson was unveiled in Pioneer Court alongside Tribune Tower at 6:15 a.m. Friday.

It depicts Monroe as she appeared in an iconic scene in the 1955 movie “The Seven Year Itch,” where her dress goes flying up as she stands over a New York subway grate, leaving her underwear exposed.

The sculpture was built in a studio in New Jersey and brought to Chicago. Pioneer Court has previously hosted sculptures depicting Shakespeare’s “King Lear” Grant Wood’s “American Gothic.”

Melissa Farrell of Zeller Realty Group told WBBM Newsradio 780 earlier this week that the 26-foot sculpture will be quite the attraction.

“We are installing a large scale public artwork. It’s very visible to the public and it becomes a tourist attraction. People come to Chicago to see it,” Farrell said.

In his Perspective Thursday night, CBS 2’s Walter Jacobson said the sculpture will be a welcome addition to the Mag Mile.

CBS 2 viewers weighed in on the new sculpture on Susan Carlson’s Facebook page. Many said the problem lay not with the sculpture, but with people who chose to take prurient photos next to it.

“The statue is beautiful. Nothing like a bunch of idiots who would prefer to make it something that it’s not,” wrote Linda Findlay Love. “Too bad.”

“I think the statue of Marilyn Monroe is beautiful and is an iconic Hollywood scene that created a buzz around the world,” added Robbie Attebery.

But fans and foes alike will have to get used to the sculpture. It will be towering over Michigan Avenue through next spring.


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