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Marilyn Monroe sculpture puts the wind up Chicago art critics PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Xan Brooks   
Thursday, 21 July 2011 08:09

Statue paying homage to late Hollywood actor's notorious leg-flashing scene labelled 'sexist', 'hideous' and 'creepy'

A man jokingly looks under the dress of a 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe in Chicago
Some like it not ... Marilyn Monroe sculpture puts the wind up Chicago critics. Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters

Citizens of Chicago have been variously panicked, enraged and excited by the appearance of a 26ft-statue of Hollywood actor Marilyn Monroe. Unveiled earlier in July, the statue pays homage to Monroe's notorious leg-flashing scene from The Seven Year Itch. Critics have lined up to label it "sexist" and "creepy". Tourists, meanwhile, have lined up to take pictures.

  1. The Seven Year Itch
  2. Production year: 1955
  3. Country: USA
  4. Runtime: 105 mins
  5. Directors: Billy Wilder
  6. Cast: Marilyn Monroe
  7. More on this film

Designed by artist Seward Johnson, Forever Marilyn stands accused of pandering to the worst instincts of passers-by. "Even worse than the statue itself is the photo-op behaviour it inspires," claimed Richard Roeper, a columnist on the Chicago Sun-Times. "Men (and women) licking Marilyn's leg, gawking up her skirt, pointing at her giant panties as they leer and laugh," Roeper added, for good measure, that the statue was "hideous".

Elsewhere, Abraham Ritchie of the Chicago Arts Blog dismissed it as "creepy schlock from a fifth-rate sculptor". The statue, he said, "caters to cheap titillation that is in itself pathetic".

The Seven Year Itch was directed by Billy Wilder and based on the 1952 play by George Axelrod. It cast Monroe in the role of "the Girl", who spends the summer in a sweltering city apartment and cools herself by standing in the draft from a subway grate.

The arrival of the Monroe statue has led some critics to wonder how it came to be erected in Chicago when The Seven Year Itch was set in New York. They can take comfort from the fact that, despite its name, Forever Marilyn is merely visiting. The statue is due to be removed next year.

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 September 2011 10:32

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