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In Palm Springs, the giant statue of Marilyn Monroe seen as an “incitement to sexual harassment”


More than sixty years later Seven years of reflection by Billy Wilder and the famous vent scene where the heroine voluptuously flutters her dress, the sculpture that immortalizes this great moment of the seventh art is considered sexist and offensive by the new leagues of virtue.

Sexy or sexist? Almost sixty after her death the sometimes sulphurous image of Marilyn Monroe continues to spill ink. Today it is a colossal statue representing her in the famous scene of Seven Years of Reflection (1955), where she fluttered the scallop and hem over an air vent, which sparked new controversy in the United States.

Indeed, “Forever Marilyn“, A gigantic iron and aluminum icon some eight meters high, is to be erected for good in front of the Art Museum in Palm Springs, California. A return to basics, in a way, since from 2012 to 2014, the work had already been installed there.

But over the past seven years, mentalities, certainly influenced by the Me Too movement, seem to have changed. The director of the museum himself, Louis Grachos, has championed the new leagues of virtue by declaring before the Palm Springs city council: “ We must think about the children who will visit our museum. The first thing they will see when they leave will be Marilyn’s panties and panties. It will be very shocking.

Marilyn’s dress, an incitement to harassment?

Louis Grachos is not alone in this view. Former director of the Palm Springs Museum, Elizabeth Armstrong follows suit and does not hesitate to go further. For her, this statue of Marilyn “absolutely sexist“, Is no less than an incitement to sexual harassment or”upskirting“, An American expression meaning taking pictures under”girls’ skirts“. And, to defend her neofeminist cause, she has already launched a petition that has received more than 40,000 signatures to date.

These positions are obviously not unanimous. Aftab Dada, the director of the tourism group PS Resorts, which bought the statue of Marilyn for the trifle of a million dollars, is convinced that it will participate in the tourist boom of the Californian city. He defended his investment by declaring: “ Most will be happy to see this icon. All this will reflect on the notoriety of Palm Springs in the world.“And, determined to carry out this great tourism project, he promised to the members of the municipal council that an image study will be carried out. A few more months of thinking …

Seven years of reflection by Billy Wilder in 1955, with Marilyn Monroe

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