Some residents in Connecticut are getting hot and bothered by a 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe that was positioned with the icon’s underwear-clad rear directly facing a church.
The controversial giant statue of the blonde bombshell was installed in Stamford Park this week as part of a citywide art display. However, the positioning of the Hollywood star in front of the First Congregational Church of Stamford got tongues wagging.
The ‘Forever Marilyn’ statue, created by Seward Johnson, depicts the iconic scene from The Seven Year Itch where Monroe tries to hold down her white dress as air blows up from a subway grate. It has previously been displayed in a variety of locations in the United States, as well as in Australia.
The back of the statue, showing Monroe’s underwear, is clearly visible from the front of the church, which caused some consternation among the congregation.
“If God had something to say, he probably would’ve sent a bolt through it,” First Congregational member Michael Dagostino told the Stamford Advocate.
“It’s disrespectful to the church,” Pam Riley, another church member, told the newspaper. “Her skirt is up in the air and everyone’s under there looking up her skirt.”
Pastor of the First Congregational Church, Reverend Dr. Todd Grant Yonkman, described the piece as an odd artistic choice. “Marilyn Monroe was an artist deserving our respect. Why appropriate her image in this way. Is this the best we can do?”
“Maybe the city would let us give her some pants?”
City officials have reportedly received several phone calls from the church members complaining about the statue, including reports of children climbing up the legendary sex symbol’s legs.
However, Sandy Goldstein, president of the Stamford Downtown Special Services District, which is hosting the exhibit, says the response to the art installation has been overwhelmingly positive.