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‘Forever Marilyn’ statue lands in Palm Springs, Calif.

'Forever Marilyn' 26-foot-tall sculpture blonde Hollywood icis reassembled Monday May 14 2012 corner Palm CanyDrive Tahquitz CanyWay Palm Springs Calif.

"Forever Marilyn," the 26-foot-tall sculpture of the blonde Hollywood icon, is reassembled on Monday, May 14, 2012, at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way in Palm Springs, Calif., the area slated to be a temporary park at the Desert Fashion Plaza site. | AP

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The giant statue of Marilyn Monroe that was in Chicago for about 10 months has a new home — Palm Springs, Calif.

“I love Marilyn. I’m so glad she’s here,” Linda George of Palm Springs said as she walked over to get a closer look Monday at the newly installed, 26-feet-tall “Forever Marilyn” sculpture of the Hollywood legend. “I know my friends who live in Chicago have taken photos with her a bunch of times, and they thought she was a great attraction to the city. I’m sure she’ll be that for us, too.”

“Forever Marilyn” began her move from Chicago’s Pioneer Court — her home since July 2011 — to the California desert May 7.

The statue will stand on a replica of the subway grate over which Monroe famously held down her skirt in the 1955 movie “The Seven Year Itch.”

The statue is expected to reside at the temporary public park — the site of an old Bank of America demolished in February — until new buildings are constructed as part of the Desert Fashion Plaza revitalization project.

The first phase of the mall project is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

A six-member crew of artists, including those who originally built “Forever Marilyn,” is putting the sculpture back together on the busy Palm Springs intersection, said Paula Stoeke, director of The Sculpture Foundation.

The sculpture is expected to be completely assembled Tuesday night ,with touch-ups through Thursday. It will remain draped until May 24.

The Sculpture Foundation Inc., which owns $50 million worth of art pieces including “Forever Marilyn,” is a nonprofit educational organization that provides public artwork.

Getting the 40,000-pound sculpture to the desert cost $78,000. That included transportation, assembly and an insurance policy that states the foundation is responsible for hiring a company to deal with any possible vandalism, said Tim Ellis, president of the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce. He also is vice president of PS Resorts, the organization spearheading the project through private donations.



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