A judge has ruled against opponents of a 17-ton Marilyn Monroe statue in Palm Springs, California. The decision is the latest blow for those who oppose putting up the statue as they have been fighting to stop it from being erected on public land.
PALM SPRINGS, California (CBSLA) — Opponents of the 26-foot Marilyn Monroe monument, which attracted thousands of protesters to its June installation in downtown Palm Springs, were given a court setback on Thursday.
In March, the “Committee to Relocate Marilyn,” a group of neighbors, sued the city for allowing the “Forever Marilyn” to green-light the artwork, which was created by the late artist Seward Johnson and portrays Monroe in her famous moment from the 1955 romance film “The Seven Year Itch.”
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The complaint claims, among other things, that the city broke numerous municipal and state laws by agreeing to shut Museum Way for the duration of the installation’s three-year stay.
On Thursday, Riverside County Superior Court Judge James Latting granted a petition filed by the city’s attorneys to dismiss four of the committee’s six causes of action.
The committee’s remaining objections include the claim that the city’s zoning rules prevent the monument from being temporarily relocated to its present position on Museum Way.
In a statement, City Manager Justin Clifton stated, “We are very happy that the court today reaffirmed that the City Council’s decision was in accordance with state and municipal regulations.” “The city hopes that the committee can resolve the remaining problems in its lawsuit so that we may move forward as a community and concentrate our efforts on more productive issues like homelessness, affordable housing, economic growth, and the environment.”
The remaining concerns will be heard in a status hearing on Sept. 9 at the Palm Springs Courthouse.
PS Resorts, a non-profit tourist company, paid $1 million plus installation expenses for the artwork from Seward Johnson Atelier in February.
It came in multiple sections, which were hoisted into position by a 60-ton crane late last month.
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PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA On June 10, 2021, a section of the 26-foot-tall Marilyn Monroe monument, nicknamed “Forever Marilyn,” will be constructed and placed on a pedestal near the junction of Museum Way and Belardo Road in Palm Springs. J. Seward Johnson’s monument, which was on display in the desert city from 2012 to 2014, is returning to downtown Palm Springs. PS Resorts spent $1 million for the monument, which had previously been in Chicago before coming to Palm Springs. JUNE 10: Palm Springs, CA Palm Springs, CA Thursday, June 10, 2021 (Getty Images/Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times) )
A site agreement with PS Resorts was authorized by the Palm Springs City Council in December. The agreement has a three-year duration and requires the council to be updated on a regular basis.
PS Resorts Chairman Aftab Dada earlier said that he intended the monument to stay in its current position on Museum Way indefinitely. An independent company would assess the statue’s local economic effect after two years, he added.
The 17-ton steel-and-aluminum sculpture was originally exhibited in Chicago in 2011 before being moved to the intersection of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way in Palm Springs in 2012, where it remained for two years.
Dada argued that the monument is a moneymaker, bringing millions of dollars in free exposure to the city during its initial visit to Palm Springs. During the Great Recession, Dada said, “Forever Marilyn” helped revive the local economy, and he believes the monument may do the same during the coronavirus epidemic.
He added, “She truly placed Palm Springs on the map across the globe.” “She is unquestionably a big attraction and an incredible tourist magnet.”
When the monument initially appeared in the city, then-City Manager David Ready described it as a “tourist phenomenon.”
Artist Seward Johnson, who died in March 2020, created “Forever Marilyn.”
Johnson once remarked, “Marilyn has come to symbolize beauty, and the white dress billowing out around her represents a kind of teasing sensuality.” “There is something about her posture that conveys an unfettered feeling of our own vitality; it shows an enthusiasm for life without inhibition.”
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(CBS Broadcasting Inc., Copyright 2021, All Rights Reserved.) This article was written with the help of City News Service.)