Protestors will make their voices heard when the "Forever Marilyn," a towering statue depicting Marilyn Monroe standing over a subway grate with wind blowing up her white dress, makes its return to Palm Springs, California, on Sunday.
Reactions to the placement of the 26-foot-tall monument have been mixed. While some believe it will drive tourism and benefit the city, others believe it is sexist and offensive. Among those opposing the statue is the Women’s March LA Foundation, which is expected to join other protests on Sunday, according to Desert Sun.
The statue is "designed for viewers to walk in between the legs, look up her dress and snap a picture of her crotch or buttocks for fun," said Women's March Inland Empire Executive Director Jenn Carson in a statement to the newspaper.
"It is sexist, exploitive, and misogynistic," the statement continued. "Even in death, Marilyn has no peace. We are demanding the statue be moved. #metoomarilyn has no place in Palm Springs."
Community members have aired their grievances and even launched a petition, stating that the statue was "hyper-sexualized," "misogynist," and defiled Monroe's memory.
Elizabeth Armstrong, a spokesperson for the Change.org petition, slammed the sculpture as "blatantly sexist," adding that Monroe is "literally going to be mooning the museum."
Despite the opposition, plans to return the statue, which was on show temporarily from 2012 to 2014, went ahead. Trina Turk, co-leader of a group called the Committee to Relocate Marilyn, said in response that various groups of opponents would gather on Sunday to "voice our dissent to the statue being installed on Museum Way."
"Since they went ahead and did it despite community opposition, we decided we wanted to bring in opponents, regardless of why they were opposed to the statue," Turk said.
During a November city council meeting to discuss the placement of the sculpture, Louis Grachos, the director of the Palm Springs Art Museum, pointed out that visitors exiting the museum would be forced to look up Monroe's skirt.
"The thought of those kids leaving our museum and having the first thing they see is the undergarments and underwear of this enormous Marilyn sculpture would be highly offensive," Grachos told the council, according to NPR.
Commenting on the objections, Aftab Dada, who is the director at the Palm Springs Hilton and the head of PS Resorts, which is the organization that's decided on the placement of the statue in Coachella Valley, said it will be beneficial, not harmful, for the city.
"She makes [the] majority of the people very happy," Dada said. "The photos taken, and being transmitted all over the world, will do nothing but benefit the city of Palm Springs."
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