Keep “Marilyn Forever”—or Good Riddance?

After two controversial years in Palm Springs, Seward Johnson’s three-story-high polychrome sculpture Forever Marilyn is being moved to Johnson’s New Jersey sculpture park, Grounds for Sculpture.

Reports David Ng in the L.A. Times:

“But there is already talk of bringing the blond bombshell back to Palm Springs — permanently. Some local leaders believe the artwork embodies the city’s glamorous history, and they want to purchase it.

“‘We are determined to bring Marilyn back to us “forever.”  It is where she belongs,’ said Aftab Dada, chairman of PS Resorts, a local tourism organization that helped to pay for the sculpture’s visit.

“He is working with the city on the possible acquisition of the artwork, he said. The Sculpture Foundation, the Santa Monica organization that owns the piece, said it is considering selling the work.”

Rent-to-own is starting to become a pattern. Johnson’s Unconditional Surrender (a 25-foot sculpture based on Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photo, V-J Day in Times Square) was temporarily installed on the San Diego waterfront from 2007 to 2012. Critics hated it; tourists and the military community liked it. In 2012 the San Diego Unified Port District voted to buy a replacement Unconditional Surrender for permanent display. Three board members resigned in protest and, it appears, disgust.

Your call.

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