Fury over Marilyn Monroe statue that has star’s skirt permanently blown up

A giant statue of Marilyn Monroe with her skirt 'blown' up has been slammed as a "reminder of systemic sexism".

Proposals of an eight-metre-tall sculpture recreating the late Hollywood star's iconic air vent scene, have been taken to court by residents in Palm Springs, California.

The installation celebrating Marilyn Monroe outside Palm Springs Art Museum was designed to help draw tourists to the city from last year, however fierce opposition has meant it is yet to be installed.

Backlash to the 'The Seven Year Itch' pose surrounds whether looking up a fibreglass figure's skirt represents Palm Springs as a "progressive" city, nine.com.au reports.

The next court hearing to determine the future of the stature is set for July 20.

Liz Armstrong, a former director of Palm Springs Art Museum said: "It's a battle for the identity of Palm Springs. How does it represent this city?

"This placement of her gigantic panty-clad rear end being the first thing you see when you come out of the museum, is so disrespectful, it's such a slap in the face."

The Seward Johnson-designed statue has already served as a backdrop for tourists' photos from 2012-2014 at the central crossroads elsewhere in the city.

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Local hotel owners are supporting a group which splashed out $1 million (£700,000) on the three-storey-tall figure to re-install it in front of the museum for at least three years.

Not happy with the intended position of the statue, fashion designer Trina Turk started the Committee to Relocate Marilyn and raised money for a lawsuit against the city.

Ms Turk argues the statue should be installed in a less obtrusive park nearby to avoid obscuring city sightlines designed in 1976.

A petition called #MeTooMarilyn has also racked up more than 50,000 signatures objecting to the placement.

Ms Turk said: "I admire Marilyn Monroe as an artist and a pop culture icon, but I don't think the statue is the best representation of who she is."

Liz Armstrong added: "We've had a big cultural shift, It's just an old bygone stereotype, it's not fair to her.

"Have we learned nothing? When you erect something 26' tall, you'd better be sure about what it represents. This is a reminder of systemic sexism.

"It's a lot different in the park because you don't have her rear end in someone's face, maybe it's a little kitschy and fun. It's about the nostalgia of Hollywood, but more from a male point of view.

"It's a monumental throwback in a city known for art, architecture and a progressive culture."

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